Alex Morris died suddenly this year from cardiac arrest at the age of 19. He habitually drank two cans of Monster Energy® drinks each day for two years. His mother Paula believes energy drinks were the cause and immediately filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp. on June 25, 2013.
This is not the first time that Monster Energy® drinks have been sued as the cause of death for teenagers. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has reported as many as 5 deaths between 2009 and 2012 could be linked to Monster’s energy drinks. The FDA also linked 5-Hour Energy® drinks with 13 deaths.
Another popular highly caffeinated drink to make the news is Four Loko® – a caffeinated alcoholic malt beverage. This drink sent tons of teens to the hospital. After the FDA stepped in the company dropped caffeine from its products.
In an attempt to avoid negative publicity, Monster® has re-branded its energy drink as a ‘beverage’ instead of a dietary supplement so they no longer have to report deaths associated with the drink to the FDA. What a clever ploy – and one the FDA is likely to buy hook, line and sinker.
Over 20,000 ER visits 2011 involved energy drinks. However the FDA still doesn’t have to regulate energy drinks other than those that combine caffeine and alcohol.
A few US senators are now calling on the FDA to start regulating energy drinks. And the American Medical Association, which represents 225,000 U.S. doctors, has demanded that the Federal Trade Commission ban marketing of energy drinks to kids. This should get interesting.
Monster Energy is a registered trademark of Hansen Beverage Company, Corona CA. 5-Hour Energy is a registered trademark of Innovation Ventures LLC (Living Essentials) Walled Lake, MI.