Humans are a strange lot. We are more than willing to believe just about any product claim in the hopes that an easy solution to our problem can be found inside a pill, tablet or liquid. Most of these products fall into the nutritional or dietary supple- ment category. Products that can help you lose weight, increase
mental acuity, help you stay awake or provide more energy are all the
rage nowadays, despite the fact that none are approved by the FDA.
Most do claim to have been tested in a clinical setting, which to
the casual listener sounds good, but to those who know how a clin-
ical trial should be done – this phrase opens a up a whole
host of questions. But I digress.
Which brings me to the latest controversy surrounding
the marketing and claims of the very popular 5-Hour Energy drink.
The company that manufactures the drink, is being sued by a group
of 33 states questioning the accuracy of the product’s claims.
Leading the case has been Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen
Rosenblum. According to reports, Rosenblum has been trying for
more than a year to obtain information from the company, without
5-Hour Energy claims it’s being intimidated by the government, and
as company spokesperson Melissa Skabich said, "When companies
are being bullied by someone in a position of power, these companies
roll over, pay the ransom, and move on, we're not doing that."
That’s fine. But if the government is only asking for evidence to
back up the company’s purported health claims, and is acting in the
health interests of consumers, why won’t the company comply?
I imagine this case will become very long and drawn-out – and
we may never find the answer.
But in the meantime – maybe we can learn a thing or two from
this. Not everything does what it claims; and my personal advice:
if you need an energy drink to get you through the day – maybe
going to bed a little earlier would solve the problem.
■ FROM THE EDITOR
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Products that can help you lose weight,
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