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Ad Week reports that "energy drink makers Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar took a pounding Wednesday in a Senate Commerce hearing about their marketing practices, which the senators argue are targeting children and teens." However, when it was over, "none of the three companies would agree to put a label on their product limiting consumption to older than 16."

The core of the hearing consisted of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) challenging the beverage manufacturers in the light of reports that "have raised serious questions about the health risks energy drinks pose to youth, suggesting that children and adolescents should not consume caffeine. Last month, the American Medical Association said it would support a ban on marketing energy drinks to children under 18 because the caffeinated beverages could cause heart problems and other issues."

The beverage makers, however, pushed back, saying that they were being unfairly demonized, that children get more caffeine from the coffee they drink than from energy drinks. All three have agreed not to market under 12 years of age and to abide by voluntary guidelines established by the American Beverage Association (ABA), but they seem to be going that far, and no farther.
KC's View:
I have no idea if the stat about getting more caffeine from coffee is true or not, but I think part of the danger has been the popularization of drinking energy drinks mixed with alcohol. But I'm reasonably sure that companies like these depend on young teens for a percentage of their revenue, and they won't give up that money without a fight.

I've never allowed the damn things in the house. I just think they are a disaster in the making.