With more troubling evidence surfacing about the dangers of energy drinks, especially to young children, Rio Grande Valley Rep. Terry Canales, has re-filed his legislative proposal from 2013 that would eliminate such highly-caffeinated beverages from Texas’ public food program.
House Bill 493 would prohibit Texans who qualify for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps, from using their Lone Star Card to buy energy drinks because of documented health and safety concerns.
In Texas, there were more than 3.8 million persons, as of October 2014, using the Lone Star Card, which is part of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Of that figure, 664,878 were younger than five years of age, while 1,480,247 were age five to 17 years of age.
“I have reviewed countless studies indicating that energy drinks have led to thousands of people being hospitalized due to resulting health complications and in some instances death,” Canales said. “In the past two years, numerous studies have demonstrated that energy drinks are even more dangerous for our innocent children.”
“SNAP was originally created and implemented to provide food and nutritional sustenance to people in need of governmental assistance, and energy drinks in my opinion simply do not meet that criteria,” added Canales. “My proposed legislation in no way attempts to dictate what a parent can and cannot feed their child. It does, however, stand for the proposition that the State of Texas will not assist families in providing dangerous products to their children.” Canales pre-filed HB 493 on Thursday, December 11.