Monster Beverage will now list the caffeine amount on each can of its energy drinks, a move that is part of an overall label change, the Associated Press reports. Can labels will now contain nutritional information and not supplement data, as Monster follows federal guidelines.
The switch comes after increased attention from lawmakers on the energy drink category, with Congress asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate how much caffeine is safe in such beverages.
Several senators sent letters to more than a dozen energy drink companies asking them to explain their rationale for marketing their energy drinks and to provide data about their ingredients and claims in marketing campaigns. The letters asked energy drink companies to answer whether they believe their products are conventional food products or dietary supplements.
While the FDA has the authority to regulate both conventional foods and dietary supplements, the requirements for ingredients, manufacturing processes, reporting of adverse events, and labeling differ depending on whether the product is marketed as a beverage or as a supplement. The FDA is still working on final rules for what qualifies as a beverage versus a dietary supplement. Some energy beverages (Monster) are currently under the dietary supplement category, while others (Red Bull) are considered a traditional drink.
Monster Beverage has not said whether or not it will delete any ingredients from its formulas because of the label change. Usually, makers of dietary supplements can have discretion as to which ingredients are included, while regular beverages have to use only those ingredients approved by the FDA or recognized as “generally safe.” (NACS: www.nacsonline)