The FDA is investigating Monster Energy Drinks after receiving reports that it is linked to five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack. The energy drink, which comes in a 24 oz. can, contains 240 mgs. of caffeine which is 7 times the amount of caffeine in a 12 oz. cola. It has been linked to deaths caused by cardiac arrhythmias from caffeine toxicity. Monster Beverage Corporation touts that its Monster Energy Drink is a “killer energy brew” and “the meanest energy supplement on the planet”.
While the company has a statement on its label that it is not recommended for use by children or those sensitive to caffeine, there are presently no restrictions on its sale to minors. There are also no recommendations on the maximum amount of the drink that can be consumed in 24 hours. The FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda to 0.02 percent. For comparison, in Canada the amount of caffeine is limited to 180 mg per serving.
There is no comparable limit for energy drinks because they are often sold as “dietary supplements”. Even if the caffeine content is listed, the manufacturer is not required to list naturally occurring caffeine which is found in such ingredients in these drinks as guarana, green coffee extract, or green tea extract even though these naturally occurring caffeine sources work on the body the same as their synthetic counterparts. The serving size of each product is likewise unregulated and the 240mg of caffeine reported in a 24 oz. Monster does not include the caffeine in these other ingredients.
The energy drink market has been steadily increasing and last year sales volume rose by nearly 17% while the market for soda has been steadily decreasing. Emergency room visits involving energy drinks increased to 13,114 in 2009, with about half of those trips made by patients 18 to 25 years old. 30-50% of teens and young adults use energy drinks according to a 2011 study.
Read the entire New York Times article here: Monster Energy Drink Cited in Deaths
If you or a loved one are concerned about effects of consuming a Monster Energy Drink, seek medical attention immediately for evaluation. Our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm have extensive experience handling product defect injury cases. Contact us for a free consultation if you believe you or a loved one has been injured by a Monster Energy Drink.