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Chicago Energy Drink Ban? Ed Burke Wants To Curb High-Caffeine Beverages For Adults

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A Chicago alderman is proposing a ban on energy drinks for kids and adults, citing the number of high-caffeine drink-related deaths in recent years. (Almay)
A Chicago alderman is proposing a ban on energy drinks for kids and adults, citing the number of high-caffeine drink-related deaths in recent years. (Almay)

Buzzkill.

In a Thursday City Council meeting, Chicago's most powerful Alderman, Ed Burke (14th) proposed an ordinance that would nix "highly caffeinated" energy drinks for everyone in Chicago, according to the Tribune.

In Burke's crosshairs are popular drinks like Monster Energy Drink, Full Throttle and 5-Hour Energy, reports NBC Chicago.

Unlike his fellow Ald. George Cardenas' (12th) Nov. proposal to ban the sale of the controversial beverages to anyone under 21, Burke's ordinance introduced Thursday would bring drink sales and distribution in Chicago to a screeching halt — and would be a blanket ban for everyone, not just minors.

The Sun-Times called Burke's measure a "surprise crackdown" on the drinks that have been previously linked to deaths, in the cases of 5-Hour Energy and Monster.

The ordinance states “No person shall sell, give away, barter, exchange or otherwise furnish any energy drink,” reports the Sun-Times. Here, an energy drink is defined as “a canned or bottled beverage which contains an amount of caffeine exceeding or equal to 180 milligrams-per-container and containing Taurine or Guarana" — and scofflaws would face fines of $100 to $500 per offense.

WIthin the parameters of the ordinance, the ban would really be targeting drink size; a standard 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull or a 16-ounce can of Monster would still be in play, but the 24-ounce can of Monster would not.

According to Fox Chicago, a federal survey released in January indicates emergency room visits involving energy drinks rose from about 10,000 to more than 20,000 between 2007 and 2011.

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