Md. Lawmakers Discuss Bill Banning Energy Drinks to Minors

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    News4's Jackie Bensen reports on a proposed bill in Maryland to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors. (Published Friday, March 7, 2014)

    Maryland lawmakers met Friday to discuss a bill banning energy drink sales to minors.

    The bill would impose penalties on those who distribute or sell energy drinks to minors. A first offense could result in a maximum fine of $500. Fines for distributing free samples can go up to $5,000. People who commit multiple violations in two years can be fined as much as $20,000.

    Energy Drink ER Visits Skyrocketed in 5 Years

    [DC] Energy Drink ER Visits Skyrocketed in 5 Years
    Doreen Gentzler looks at the rise in ER visits associated with energy drinks in the past five years and how much caffeine is in a Monster energy drink compared to coffee or soda. (Published Friday, Mar 7, 2014)

    The bill was pushed after 14-year-old Anais Fournier of Hagerstown, Md., died from cardiac arrest after drinking two Monster energy drinks in a 24-hour period in 2012.

    Anais' mother, Wendy Crossland, spoke to the House of Delegates Judiciary about the tragic loss of her daughter, who had a mild heart condition. Crossland is suing the maker of the energy drink.

    Md. Bill Would Ban Energy Drink Sales to Minors

    [DC] Md. Lawmakers Discuss Bill Banning Energy Drinks to Minors
    The Maryland General Assembly is meeting to debate a proposed bill that will ban energy drink sales to minors. (Published Friday, Mar 7, 2014)

    Lawmakers are worried about health risks to minors, NBC4’s Megan McGrath reports.

    Some Maryland residents agree with the intent of the bill, but others think 16 is a more logical minimum age, McGrath reports.

    Ellen Valentino, executive vice president of the Maryland-Delaware- D.C. Beverage Association, said her group planned to fight the bill at the hearing in Annapolis.

    Many coffee products have more caffeine in them than energy drinks, Valentino said. Valentino added that all supplements in energy drinks are FDA-approved.

    "Public policy should be based in fact and science, and this bill is based in neither," Valentino said.