Students say energy drink mix made them sick

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 6:19 PM

LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Twelve-year-old Austin Lloid and his mom spent Saturday online, researching the ingredients inside of the energy drink mix "Zipfizz."  They believe something inside of the 11 gram package made Austin violently ill. 

"He was profusely throwing up and everything that was in his stomach came up that day," said Austin's mother, Cheri Crews.

Austin says a classmate offered him and several others the powder Thursday at Martha Lake Elementary. 

"I licked my finger  and took some and put it on my tongue and it started fizzing and 15 minutes later my stomach started hurting really bad," he said. 

By nightfall he was in the emergency room. 

"I'm livid.  It's taking every ounce in me not to say something to the manufacturer," said Crews.

The principal of the school says at least five others got sick, at least three of them were taken to emergency. 

Zipfizz president and CEO Riley Livingston said the package clearly says it should be mixed with water and that it's not intended for children. 

"The green tea and the caffeine levels from the green tea probably caused their problems," said Livingston. 

Austin said his classmate purchased the mix from Walgreens. A store clerk told us they're not obligated to refuse the sale of it to children; there isn't a warning on the label, but rather a recommendation.

"I'm also amazed to find the M&M's almost the same package and label," said Crew, who also wants to see a change in the packaging.  

Livingston said they'll certainly consider it. 

"I'm definitely going to look into it and hopefully nothing like this will happen again," he said.  

Zipfizz is based in Mill Creek. 

In regards to energy mixes, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.  There have been reports throughout the country of kids getting sick from drinks and powders. They're stimulants and often their bodies are not able to handle them.   

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