The marketers and producers of the 5-Hour Energy drink are being forced to provide unredacted data to the Oregon Department of Justice to over claims it’s “doctor-recommended” and that drinkers don’t experience a “crash” after the energy boost wears off.
The Oregonian reports the health fraud unit of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed papers against Innovation Ventures LLC, Living Essentials LLC, and Microdose Sales LLC on Friday.
The Oregonian has more:
The states are concerned about the drink’s safety. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration database contains 92 “adverse incident reports” involving 5-hour Energy, including spontaneous abortion, heart attacks and 11 fatalities.
In April, 5-Hour Energy gave Oregon’s health fraud unit documents, but some of the information — including specific amounts of ingredients — was redacted. The state hopes to use the ingredient amounts to investigate the drink’s claim that people who consume it don’t experience a post-use crash.
The attorney general has “reason to believe that respondents have made misleading statements regarding 5-hour Energy in three issue areas: (1) whether users experience ‘no crash’ when using the product; (2) a ‘Doctors Recommend’ advertising campaign; and (3) the product’s suitability for children, all potentially in violation of … the UTPA [Unlawful Trade Practices Act],” according to Courthouse News Service.
The manufacturers fought the order to provide unredacted information, insisting that complying would mean revealing trade secrets, reports Raw Story.
RS has more:
If they provide the Oregon Department of Justice with the unredacted data, they will also have access to the exact formula for the popular drinks. Because 33 other states are a party to Oregon’s lawsuit, that information would not only be made available to those other states, but because they are all government entities, the formula would be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
An original 5-Hour Energy shot contains the “caffeine equivalent to a cup of the leading premium coffee,” according to the company’s website. Since it’s classified as a supplement, it must comply right FDA regulations but does not go through an FDA approval process.
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