For once, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is playing it straight with caffeine. Following demands earlier this year by Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., for the FDA to regulate or ban caffeinated energy drinks, the agency, in a report issued this month, concluded that the caffeine in energy drinks does not pose a safety issue.
Senator Durbin, apparently hungry for publicity, had asked for a blanket crackdown on caffeinated products, claiming that caffeine can lead to arrhythmia, stroke, or even death, especially in children and teenagers. Unfortunately, while Durbin’s irresponsible grandstanding blanketed the Internet, hardly anyone even noticed the FDA’s response dismissing Durbin’s concerns and declaring that caffeine in energy drinks is no more dangerous than the caffeine in coffee or regular soft-drinks.
It is sad that groundless condemnations of caffeine continue to circulate widely, while the truth, that caffeine is not only safe but beneficial to health and happiness, receives far less recognition. But at least the FDA probably won’t be trying to put a stranglehold on caffeine use any time soon.