Senator Dick Durbin works to label energy drink caffeine content

By WEEK Producer

February 26, 2013 Updated Feb 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's push for an FDA investigation into the health risks of energy drinks is spurring change.

Monster Beverage Corp will now include caffeine content on its energy drink labels.

The drinks weren't required to before because they were considered a dietary supplement.

Now, Monster energy drinks will be classified as a conventional food, meaning the beverages will have to follow FDA regulations just like soda.

Senator Durbin said consumers need the knowledge to make an informed choice before it's too late.

He got a visit from a Maryland mother who knows that all too well.

"Her 14 year-old daughter drank two Monster energy drinks within 12 hours and she died. And I thought to myself, this is the story of thing we ought to be wary of, parents ought to know in advance so they can warn their children, give them good advice," said Assistant Majority Leader Senator Dick Durbin (D).

A recent government study revealed more than 20,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms in 2011 because of energy drink consumption.

Most of them were teens and young adults.

The findings prompted a proposal by one Chicago city leader to ban the sale of highly-caffeinated energy drinks there.

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