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Official would ban energy drinks for teens

Dec. 8, 2010 at 3:04 PM

RIVERHEAD, N.Y., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A Long Island, N.Y., official says he wants to ban energy drinks for minors, calling them a health risk.

Suffolk County Legislator Lynne Nowick has introduced a bill to forbid people 19 or younger from buying drinks with more than 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving, WNBC-TV, New York, reported.

"These drinks can potentially be dangerous for teens," she said. "Why put foreign things in your body when you don't know what's going into them? The drinks are not regulated."

Manufacturers object.

"Any proposed ban on energy drinks is without merit," said the American Beverage Association. "Energy drinks contain about half the caffeine of a similar size cup of coffeehouse coffee. To be consistent, coffeehouses would have to start carding customers before serving them coffee."

"Government should leave us alone," said Duffy Griffiths, who owns a deli in Riverhead, the Suffolk County seat. "I am sure there are people who drink too many of them, but people also drink too much coffee."

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