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U.S. senators call on FDA to act on energy drinks

NEW YORK — Two U.S. senators on Friday again called on federal regulators to close what they say are loopholes that allow energy-drink makers to sell products with additives and high levels of caffeine that the lawmakers say have not been proven safe.

The letter to the Food and Drug Administration from Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., comes after the agency said this week that it is investigating reports of five deaths in which the consumption of Monster drinks was cited.

Those claims say that people suffered adverse reactions after consuming Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, seven times the caffeine in a 12-ounce can of traditional cola.

The FDA noted that the allegations, which date back to 2004, don't necessarily prove the drinks are linked to the deaths.

In a letter Friday, Durbin and Blumenthal also cited a recent study in Consumer Reports that found several popular energy drinks contained significantly more caffeine than the listed amount, while others did not disclose the amount of caffeine they had.

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