The country’s third-biggest energy drink company, Rockstar, has published a white paper prepared by research and testing company Intertek that pushes back against reports that the product might be dangerous to consumers.
“Rockstar, Inc. (manufacturer of Rockstar energy drink products) would like to report that an independent Expert Panel has reviewed key ingredients and use levels in Rockstar energy drink products and concluded that the intended use of the key ingredients in all Rockstar products is ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ (GRAS)
based on scientific procedures,” the company noted in the summary of the report’s findings.
The report comes into public view as pressure on regulatory agencies has increased from a pair of U.S. senators who are pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the category. Additionally, media reports on hospital visits — and deaths — that may have been associated with energy drink use have also muddied the image of the $10 billion beverage category.
The report indicates that Rockstar’s caffeine levels are between 80 mg and 120 mg per 8 oz. can — far below that of comparably-sized amounts of Starbuck’s coffee, which has emerged as something of a measuring stick for energy drink companies as they fight negative publicity related to their products. The report’s findings also evaluated the products in Rockstar’s “energy blend” — including caffeine, taurine, l-carnitine, and others, separately and in synergy, finding them to be harmless.
“The Expert Panel unanimously concluded that such use of caffeine and all other ingredients in Rockstar products is safe and GRAS based on scientific procedures,” the report said.
Among the report’s more amusing findings is equivalent number of Rockstar drinks that would comprise a potentially lethal dose of caffeine, which it notes is 10,000 mg.
“An acute intake of 10,000 mg of caffeine, from the proposed food uses of caffeine in Rockstar energy drink products, would require the consumption of eighty three 8 oz servings,” according to the report, “corresponding to 20 liters of fluid or approximately 43 pounds of Rockstar energy drink, consumed all at one time. This volume is far in excess of quantities that can reasonably be expected to be consumed among anyone drinking any beverage at all, including energy drink users, within the general U.S. population, including the small percentage of individuals that may display reckless or undesirable consumption patterns.”