Illinois Targets Energy Drinks

Published in CSP Daily News

Two proposals would limit sales to anyone younger than 18

By  Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor

Luis Arroyo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- While the city of Chicago's efforts to ban energy drinks seems to have stalled, the next battleground in the effort to regulate the popular beverages may be in Illinois on the state level.

In late February, two bills filed in the state House aim to ban the sale of energy drinks to anyone under age 18.

House Bill 2379 would amend the Illinois Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act to provide "that it is unlawful … for any person to sell, offer for sale or deliver an energy drink to a person under 18 years of age." The bill, sponsored by State Representative Luis Arroyo (D), "defines 'energy drink' as any soft drink with a caffeine level of 6 mg or more per ounce."

A 24-ounce can of Monster Energy, for example, contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, while Red Bull contains 83 mg per 8.4 ounces.

Meanwhile, House Act 2923 "defines [an] energy drink as a carbonated beverage that exceeds a caffeine content of 71 milligrams per 12-ounce serving and contains any combination of taurine, guarana and glucuronolactone."

The so-called Energy Drink Act, sponsored by first-term State Rep. Laura Fine (D), also focuses on banning sales to anyone younger than 18, but it specifically targets beverages delivered to a person's residence, requiring the package be "clearly labeled as containing an energy drink and labeled as requiring the signature of a person who is at least 18 years of age."

Both bills were assigned to the Human Services Committee earlier this month.

By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor
View More Articles By Steve Holtz