Markey Asks FTC to Investigate Advertising Claims of Energy Drinks

Lawmaker urges action in wake of numerous reported deaths linked to class of beverages

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting an investigation of advertising claims made by energy drinks such as 5-hour ENERGY, Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy that could be in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act as unfair or deceptive. A recent New York Times story reported thirteen deaths allegedly linked to the popular product known as 5-hour ENERGY, raising questions about the safety and efficacy of energy drinks. Some of the claims made by energy drinks are that they will “fix the feeling of tired”, “allow you to do more”, make the consumer “sharper and more alert” and provide “hours and hours of energy.”  The FDA has not substantiated these health or function claims.

“The advertising claims made by energy drink manufacturers are particularly alarming in light of the increase in advertisements targeted primarily to children and teenagers,” writes Rep. Markey in the letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

“Until we know more about the health impacts of these so-called energy drinks, it is inappropriate and may very well be dangerous to advertise them to children and teens,” said Rep. Markey in separate comments.

A copy of Rep. Markey’s letter to the FTC can be found HERE.

A copy of the FTC response to Rep. Markey's letter can be found HERE.