Proposed Ordinance in Chicago Would Ban Energy Drinks
Chicago Alderman Edward Burke (14) has introduced a proposed ordinance that would prohibit the distribution of energy drinks in the city. Citing the popularity of the drinks among teenagers and young adults and the dangers they purportedly pose to health, the ordinance defines “energy drink” as “a canned or bottled beverage which contains an amount of caffeine exceeding or equal to 180 milligrams per container and containing Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) or Guarana.” The proposed ordinance also states that those violating the ordinance would face fines of $100 to $500 per offense with a mandatory revocation or suspension of business licenses for repeat offenders. Some legal commentators and critics reportedly claim that the proposed ban is rife with legal flaws and misrepresentations about the law regarding energy drinks and that the ambiguity surrounding the regulation of these products needs to be addressed. The proposal was assigned to the City Council Committee on Health and Environmental Protection. See Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 2013.