U.S. Senate tackles energy drink marketing to minors - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Senate tackles energy drink marketing to minors

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Illinois Senator Dick Durbin made the opening remarks Wednesday at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee all about energy drinks.

Even though energy drink makers deny it, the senator and others on his side feel the major energy drink makers like Monster and Red Bull are marketing to young people.

Skateboarder Bryon Rubio says he drinks at least a couple a week.

"I'm not making a point on a daily basis to overdose on them but I mean I try to when I'm running low on energy, I'll stop at your local corner store and grab a Monster, Red Bull whatever it is, yeah," Rubio said.

Rubio is 27 now, but he says he started drinking them when he was 16 or 17 while he was racing motocross.

He does feel like the drinks were being marketed to him when he was that age.

"You had lots of advertisement at the track. You know, you had a number of different cars and big rigs you know advertising Red Bull," Rubio said.

Tom Schneider the pedi-cab driver drinks them every now and then.

"I drink them when they're free just to get a little boost while I'm pedi-cabbing. You just need as much sugar as possible when you're doing that because you just expede so much energy," Schneider said.

Schneider says he's really more of a water drinker and he definitely thinks young people need to focus more on being active than drinking energy drinks.

Laurie Schulz and Brandon Court brought their Red Bulls with them to the skate park but you won't catch their 11-year-old son drinking one.

Court admits that for them it's kind of a habit. He says they don't even do the trick for him.

"And I only drink the sugar frees. Because if they've got sugar in them, they work for about 10 minutes and then I'm sleeping for three hours," Court said.

Recently, the American Medical Association showed support for banning the marketing of energy drinks to adolescents under the age of 18 -- something U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is echoing in Washington this week.

So, should it be done?

"Absolutely. I don't even think they should sell it to kids," Court said.

"I think they should focus on bigger problems," Schulz said.

"These kids already have a lot of energy. You know, really don't need an energy drink if you're 13-17 years of age I mean...you don't," Rubio said.

On the MyFOXAustin Facebook page, Trina writes: "Really? The US Senate is going to waste money debating energy drinks? Can't they find something else to waste taxpayers money on?

Dawn writes: "They should not be sold to minors. I'm 38 years old and I get carded for craft paint, glue and Claritin. Those drinks are far more dangerous than acrylic paint or allergy meds."

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