FDA Investigates Monster Energy Drink
The website of the highly popular Monster energy drink says “MONSTER packs a vicious punch but has a smooth flavor you can really pound down.” But with reports claiming that the consumption of the highly caffeinated beverage could be linked to five recent deaths and a non-fatal heart attack episode, some are wondering just how "vicious" its "punch" really is.
Anias Fournier, a 14-year-old girl, died after consuming two 24-ounce Monster energy drinks within one day; last week her family filed a lawsuit against Monster for failing to warn consumers about its risks.
"These energy drinks contain highly dangerous levels of caffeine and can be extremely harmful, but these grave health dangers are not clearly marked on the cans," said Alexander R. Wheeler, a lawyer at the R. Rex Parris Law Firm. "Anais's family wants to make sure antoher family doesn't have to endure the same tragedy as they have."
Until now the contents of the beverage have been widely accepted by the public, as its market shares have more than tripled over the past two years. But on Tuesday, news of the FDA investigation resulted in its shares dropping more than 8 percent.
"As with any reports of a death or injury the agency receives, we take them very seriously and investigate diligently," said FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess. However, the administration did state that these reports don’t necessarily indicate the beverage actually caused any health-related incidents.
While FDA regulations state that caffeine levels in soda must be less than 0.02 percent, energy drinks have no such regulations.
"I would like nothing more than to have these drinks regulated by the FDA and ban the sale to minors," Anais' mother, Wendy Crossland, said.
The result: one Monster energy drink contains 240 milligrams of caffeine -- seven times the amount as a 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola.
Still, Monster said it is “unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.