Local News

Ban on energy drink proposed by alderman

A Chicago alderman is proposing a ban on energy drinks with high amounts of caffeine, like Red Bull.

Finance committee chairman Ed Burke says he’s seen the studies and they don’t look good for the people who drink them.

“These energy drinks, if they’re consumed in large amounts, especially by kids, can have serious health implications,” he said.

The alderman’s plan defines an energy drink as a canned or bottled beverage containing at least 180 milligrams of caffeine, plus either taurine or guarana. People found selling large cans of Red Bull or other energy drinks would face fines of $100 to $500 and revocation of their business licenses under the ordinance.

Smaller cans with less caffeine would be allowed under the proposal, which goes to the City Council Health Committee. 

-The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.


41 Comments to “Ban on energy drink proposed by alderman”

    Lory Blue said:
    January 17, 2013 at 9:03 PM


      Last Time said:
      January 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Yeah, because prohibition was sooo successful the first time the federal government banned it, right?

    Tim said:
    January 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    if you cant get energy drinks then everyone will get caffeine pills instead so it doesn't matter if you ban it.

    Ken said:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    What about a ban on politicians who use politics for their own gain,. Must be nice to be married to a State Supreme Court Justice, who also got her position thanks to being an insider.

    M. Ditto said:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    On a recent visit to Costco, I noticed that they didn't have any Rockstar energy drink in stock. I was told by an employee that they no longer Carry the drink. Seems that when moving a pallet of the drink they accidentally punctured a few cans. The result was the spillage stripped the paint off the floor!!! ……..No more Rockstar

      sherri said:
      January 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      try spilling it on paint at your house and see what it does.

        mapleleaf said:
        January 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Try the same thing with Coke or Pepsi on paint. Same results. So are we going to ban soda as well???

      RTR said:
      March 29, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      this isnt true at all – costco only has rockstar in certain regions..its based on market share…paint off floor ….come on

    Todd pardee said:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    What about sugar?? Equally destructive if you have too much. Obesity, diabetes, tooth decay all bad stuff too

    James said:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    I can only dream of a day when we start electing intelligent people.

    No Mercy said:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Hey Ed Burke – F*CK YOU!

    No Mercy said:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    If you're going to ban them, MAKE THE STUDIES PUBLIC! I guarantee you there's no study that will prove that energy drinks are dangerous! This is so stupid! Caffeine, Taurine and Guarana are all NATURAL energy supplements. F*CK YOU BURKE, go retire and move somewhere far far away from here! And to WGN, "Red Bill" are you kidding me? Also can you switch up your ads a bit? I'm so sick of seeing that lady from BMO Harris Bank talking about the padlock! Jesus!

      Jonathan said:
      January 19, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      red bill? gonna miss your Yeager bombs? I'd try to get your head outta the sand but it's also occupied by fellow morons..

    steve said:
    January 18, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    government thinks it knows best. government get out of my personal life. do something that really helps society instead of this stupid garbage.

    haha said:
    January 18, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    No Mercy is FUNNY

    Tired of the Morons said:
    January 18, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    We go after cigarettes with taxes, we try to ban energy drinks, yet the alcohol industry gets off free. Guess we know who kisses ass better. Burke your an idiot.

    anon said:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Ed Burke is an ASS. Wouldn’t coffee and tea be included in his “ban?”

    Steller said:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Ed Burke I ho*e you die a pai$full death you Fu*ckin retart Asswhipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    pagan69 said:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Among Political Royalty this is what is known as Ye’Ole Bait and Switch. You pass some nothing legislation rather than tackle the tough questions. Violence, Violence? We are here to talk about energy drinks a true scourge on our youth. Keep voting for the same people and guess what? You will keep getting the same thing!

    Dan said:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Time for Ed to step down from his role.

    Chris said:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Not gonna lie, sometimes I need a good Red Bull to keep my going after an 10-hour day at the office. I figure that since I am a grown man, I can make that decision without having to consult the Chicago City Council…

    Chris said:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM


    kid1339 said:
    January 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    .99%of the lawmakers need to be gone.

    nonya said:
    January 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM
    FIRE024 said:
    January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM


    Jonathan said:
    January 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    WGN, shouldn't you be doing a better job of going through these posts? Just because some idiots edit their swear words with other symbols doesn't mean we can't understand them! This used to be so much more intelligent, now its like going to the bathroom and reading what's on the walls.

      Tired of the Morons said:
      January 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Don't come then.

    Hickle Bickle Buk said:
    January 19, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Some of the fattest people I know use Weight Watchers but they’ve never succeeded. Why is life so cruel?

    ESPEE said:
    January 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    This article is pathetic….Excuse me guys. I'm goin to the kitchen…care for some ice cold Red bull?

    Weeble wobble said:
    January 19, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Are you kidding me? This isn't about the health of the people, it's about controlling the people. First ban our guns, then tell us what we can and can't eat or drink…The government needs to stay out of my personal life. The assholes get paid by our hard earned taxes anyway.

    B_Healthy said:
    January 19, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Bravo. It's about time. Generally, the level of sugar in our blood count is at a horrifying level. We need these energy companies to declare truthfully the full contents of their drinks. For example : Red Bull silver can which can be found in Singapore/Thailand/Malaysia. It states that it is 25% less sugar. Somehow, the taste of the Red Bull 25% less sugar compared to the Red Bull gold can is the same. Therefore, more answers are needed by Red Bull … can they confirm the sugar levels of both can drinks ?

    We as consumers should not be falsely led by such advertisements, which is a big question. Health authorities worldwide, PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW RED BULL or any of the other Energy drinks to distribute FREE energy drinks. DO NOT Accept such items. DO NOT even approach these Energy drinks to sponsor any of your activities. If you do accept it, then you are not complying to the guidelines set. DON'T give in to their marketing strategies. Ensure that they submit their responses on time. There should not be any delay at all.

    Think of our kids, who are our future of this world. We don't want any of them to end up having diabetes with heart related conditions

    Steve said:
    January 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    “These energy drinks, if they’re consumed in large amounts, especially by kids, can have serious health implications,” he said.

    Another as-wipe manipulating 'the children.' Let parents monitor their kids, not the government! Stay out of our lives.

    Mike said:
    January 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    These politicians have to go! Ban Energy Drinks what a joke, Who's pocket is this politician in?
    The sales numbers just came out on Energy Drinks, and there blowing pop/soda, sport drinks, juice Drinks, out of the water so how many companies is paying to Ban or slow Sales of Energy Drinks,

    Look up this artical: Banned ingredients that are still legal in the U.S. by Shape Magazine/Healthy Living

    It shows you what ingreients we still use in our foods that are banned, in other countries around the world
    you will be shocked to see what is aloud in our food and other countries know they are not Safe
    and this joker wants to go after energy drinks somethings wrong with this There is non of these Banned
    ingredients in Energy Drinks it all about the money this idiot can put in his bank account from other
    drink companies.

    mike jones said:
    January 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Chicago needs to worry about the 22 murders they have in the yr 2013 when its on Jan 19. Dang shame!

    Tamara said:
    January 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Why not include energy drinks in the ranks of cigarettes and alcohols. Pass a law that no one can buy these unless they are the age of 21. Maybe by then kids will, hopefully, be able to make a mature decision rather than giving into peer pressures and wanting to look "cool."

    Sports Energy Drinks said:
    February 22, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    A ban on such drinks is a good thing in one way. It helps us to be healthy and leaves us good options for consumptions.

    mibchfj said:
    March 20, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    1st of all Redbull only has 80 mg of caffeine its less than a large cup of coffee this alderman should be doing something constructive rather than trying to stop a company from making a profit go after the real problem people getting robbed and killed with guns. And good luck trying to ban a billion dollar industry not letting kids under 17/18 is one thing but wanting to ban a drink is just plain stupid. Go ban cigarettes you idiot that is proven to kill people. Dumb people get me so mad

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