Ald. Edward M. Burke, called called Chicago's "most powerful alderman" by the Chicago Sun-Times and named one of the "100 Most Powerful Chicagoans" by Chicago Magazine has declared war on energy drinks, seeking a full ban on the sale and distribution of energy drinks, according tot he Chicago Sun Times.
The chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee proposed the ban, using reports of teenagers drinking unsafe amounts of energy drinks and ER visits as his reasoning behind his plan. The interesting part of his plan is that he created a confusing loophole which would allow many energy drinks, while disallowing others.
According to Alderman Burke's proposed city-wide ordinance, 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.” This means many drinks brands such as Monster, Red Bull, Amp, Full Throttle and Go Fast fall well beneath the 180mg limit, but while Rockstar's diet drink passes, their Low Carb version would not. While the man behind the Coffee Rebellion of 1972 would be fine with allowing a teen to buy a Starbucks Grande Mocha (which has 270mg of caffeine), their canned coffee version (Doubleshot + Energy) would be illegal to sell, give away, barter, exchange or otherwise furnish, punishable by a $100-to-$500 fine for each offense.
This is on the heels of another proposal in Chicago by Health Committee Chairman George Cardenas. He proposed that minors under the age of 21 be prohibited from purchasing energy drinks in Chicago earlier in the month, but decided not to push it now, stating “I’m not for banning anything. We need to educate the public and educate parents more than anything and work with the industry for better warnings and labeling on these products. We’re gonna modify it. We’re not gonna push a ban.”