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Health group takes on energy drinks

NEW YORK — A group of 18 doctors, researchers, and public health experts jointly urged the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to take action on energy drinks to protect adolescents and children from the possible risks of consuming high amounts of caffeine.

“There is evidence in the published scientific literature that the caffeine levels in energy drinks pose serious potential health risks,’’ the doctors and researchers wrote.

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In their letter to Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, the group argued that energy drink makers had failed to meet the regulatory burden placed on them to show that the ingredients used in their beverages were safe, specifically where children, adolescents, and young adults are concerned. As a result, the group urged the FDA to restrict caffeine content in the products and to require a caffeine content product label.

Energy drink makers have insisted that their products are safe and that their levels of caffeine, a stimulant, are on a par with other widely consumed drinks, like coffee.

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