Bad Brownie: Children Become Sick After Eating Brownies Made With Melatonin


Profits Soaring and Expected to Keep Rising

Despite experts' skepticism, profits from relaxation drinks are expected to soar. According to data from IBISWorld, a Los Angeles industry research firm, the relaxation drink industry will earn about $75 million this year and will continue to grow close to 30 percent a year over the next five years. There will be about 390 such drinks on the market, up from 350 in 2010.

Experts believe the market is growing in large part because young people are looking for a way to offset the effects of the Red Bulls, 5 Hour Energies and other energy drinks they consume in larger and larger numbers.

"Children and teens consume energy drinks and feel jittery, and then consume these relaxation drinks to counteract the effects," said Lipshultz.

"It's all just a reinforcement of how our society is dependent on chemical substances," said Goldberger.

The Food and Drug Administration has raised questions about the safety of melatonin as a food additive. In early 2010, the agency sent Drank's manufacturer a letter warning it that the melatonin in its drink is not an approved food additive. That case is still ongoing, said the FDA.

Until more is known about the safety of these drinks, experts strongly advise people to address their body's needs in other ways.

"If you need help waking up and then relaxing, then you need a 'wake-up call' of different sort, because your life is becoming overwhelming. Drinks shouldn't be for that purpose," said Ayoob.

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