Energy Drinks

A City Council panel discussed possible limits on how many energy drinks city employees could consume on duty. (Los Angeles Times / November 25, 2009)

The Los Angeles City Council is discussing whether to limit the number of energy drinks city employees can consume while on the job.

Apparently too much energy in a public employee can be dangerous.

Councilman Bernard C. Parks introduced a motion last year asking for a report on options to restrict the consumption of energy drinks by workers on duty. This followed news reports that the Food and Drug Administration was investigating allegations that five deaths were linked to adverse reactions to energy drinks. Parks also sought recommendations on placing warning signs in stores about the risks of drinking highly caffeinated beverages. 

On Monday, a council committee discussed the proposal and Dr. Arthur Manoukian, the city’s medical director, sounded pretty skeptical, according to Rick Orlov at the Daily News.

There’s no strong evidence that chugging Red Bulls at work creates unsafe conditions. Nor is there any way to tell if that jittery worker is drinking cans of Monster on his lunch hour or if he’s just high-strung.

“My main problem is I don’t see how we can monitor this,” Manoukian said.

What’s next? Padlocking the coffeemaker? Banning Big Gulps at the office? We’re not New York City.

Caffeinated employees are the least of City Hall’s worries, and there have been far greater issues about what public employees do on the job.  

Apparently in L.A., you can allow topless women to pose on city property without punishment (Los Angeles Fire Department). You can admit to having an affair with an employee and a sexual harassment lawsuit (Councilman Jose Huizar). But drinking Red Bull or Monster on the job? That’s a concern.

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