A new change to the labeling found on energy drinks have made them food stamps eligible.
The change, which many people say is an attempt to game the food stand system, is the removal of the word “supplement.”
Several months ago the Monster energy drinks brand removed that single word to its nutritional label and then like magic, food stamps users could buy the drinks.
Under current laws “supplements” are not allowed to take advantage of the food stamps program. Monster Energy was following the an idea from Red Bull, that company changed the world “supplement” to “nutrition.” As if the changing of that word magically made the beverage better for our health or nutritional in any way.
U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines say that the word “nutrition” makes a Monster Energy drink a food product and therefore food stamps eligible.
Food and Drug Administration guidelines for energy drinks have revealed the following:
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods.
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible.
- USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/eligible.htm.
So what does the general public think about this program change? Here are some of the typical Twitter responses to the change:
@samanthaelmore my favorite is when people use their food stamps card for fountain pops and energy drinks..
— Kandis Ramsay (@kandisramsay) November 1, 2013
For all of my hard working, tax paying followers, I want you to know that food stamps cover energy drinks these days. #ClassWar
— Big Swig Griswald (@cclark2790) November 1, 2013
Not asking “can energy drinks, beer or smokes be covered by foodstamps” #TotalRepublicanMove
— Miss Scarlett (@Keeleigh_Utt) October 28, 2013
When people use food stamps to buy energy drinks and candy I honestly just wanna smack them over the head.
— Trinity Reps (@Tmoneysign_reps) September 25, 2013
Ppl on food stamps aka 40%of the country won’t buy beef as prices rise they only care about buying monster energy drinks hotdogs from 7-11
— John (@AgOptionTrader) July 2, 2013
As you can see from the tweets listed above, many people are not happy that a luxury item can now be purchased with food stamps which are meant to provide food for starving families.
Do you think Energy Drinks should be food stamps eligible?
Author: James Kosur
James Kosur has worked in the new media space for the last 10 years, helping many publications build their audiences to millions of monthly readers. He currently serves as the Director of Business Development at Business2Community.com and the CEO of Aven Enterprises LLC.