"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Extortion claim: Oregon AG sues 5-hour energy after it refused to donate

"Corruptus in Extremis"
HORROR! - Two Democrat AGs are accused of extorting campaign money from businessmen.

(Poor Richards News)  -  The left is outraged. Outraged I tell you. After all, 5-hour energy, which claims to have a “unique blend of ingredients”, but it actually has a unique blend of ingredients that includes caffeine. I know, I know. Totally outrageous.

From the AP:
Two attorneys general from the Northwest have sued the companies responsible for the popular 5-Hour Energy drink, alleging they engaged in deceptive advertising. 
The Oregon lawsuit filed Thursday in Portland contends 5-Hour Energy falsely claims customers get extra energy and focus from a unique blend of ingredients, when the boost actually comes from a concentrated dose of caffeine. 
The suit also targets claims that users don’t experience a crash when the effects subside and that the product is OK for adolescents.
Read the Rest

The horror.

According to the label, here are the ingredients:
Niacin 30 mg
Vitamin B6 40 mg
Folic acid 400 mg
Vitamin B12 500 mcg
Energy blend: taurine, glucuronic acid, malic acid, N-acetyl L tyrosine, L-phenylalanine, caffeine, and citicoline
That seems like a blend to me. So why the lawsuit? I’m glad you asked. The company’s founder says he’s being extorted.

From the Oregonian:
The attorneys general of Oregon, Washington and Vermont last week accused the makers and marketers of 5-hour Energy drinks of false and deceptive advertisements of the its caffeinated products. 
Company founder Manoj Bhargava and his company, Living Essentials LLC, came back Monday with a few accusations of their own, alleging that two attorneys general in the Northwest were twisting their arms. Their claims make it sound as if the company were being extorted. 
"The Attorney General of Washington, Bob Ferguson, called us two weeks ago to solicit a campaign contribution," according to a news release sent to news media by Living Essentials LLC, the products’ makers. 
"The Attorney General of Oregon, Ellen Rosenblum, suggested that if we give them money, the lawsuit would go away," the release alleged. “We said no and the lawsuit followed.”

Read the Rest

First of all, any purchase of 5-hour energy should fall squarely under Caveat emptor. It’s an inexpensive product that makes ambiguous claims like you’ll have an “energy boost”, etc. People can figure out on their own if it’s working for them. There’s no need for oppressive government intervention here.

Furthermore, 5-hour energy hasn’t engaged in any false advertising that I can tell. They claim to have a “unique blend” of ingredients that supplies energy. According to science, caffeine gives people energy (so do calories, by definition). Therefore, 5-hour energy is exactly what it says it is: A blend that gives energy, plain and simple.

But besides all of this, it should scare every business owner in the country that their government has the ability to do this to them with virtually no recourse. Whether the claim is true or not, the mere fact that it could be true should be bothersome enough and should be a wake up call to all of us.

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