Monday, October 22, 2012
Monster energy drinks cited in the deaths of five people
Monster Beverage Corp. energy drinks have been cited in the deaths of five people in the past year, according to incident reports that doctors and companies submit to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The five reports received by the agency said the victims consumed Monster drinks prior to their deaths, Shelly Burgess, an FDA spokeswoman, said today in a telephone interview. The agency said the incidents, which are voluntarily reported, are considered to be allegations, and no conclusion is drawn until a full investigation is completed. Monster shares tumbled by as much as 10 percent.
The FDA reports are being used by parents who sued Corona, California-based Monster last week, claiming the drinks led to caffeine toxicity that killed their 14-year-old daughter. Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, is asking the FDA to consider caffeine limits on energy drinks after emergency room visits involving such products jumped 10-fold from 2005 through 2009.
“FDA continues to evaluate the emerging science on a variety of ingredients, including caffeine,” Burgess said in an earlier e-mail.
The five deaths, and a sixth in 2009 in which a person died of a heart attack, were among 37 adverse reaction reports since 2004 that mentioned Monster drinks, according to a log of incidents that health professionals and other people voluntarily recorded with the FDA. The agency has said it is working on draft guidelines that would ensure energy drinks are safe. Read more >>