In the past year, Monster Beverage Corporation has been cited in the deaths of five people, according to some incident reports that physicians and companies have submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The reports stated that the five victims had all consumed Monster energy drinks prior to their death. These incidents, which are voluntarily reported, are only considered to be allegations at this time and that a thorough investigation needs to take place before a conclusion is drawn.
Parents in Maryland, who sued Monster in mid-October, are using the FDA reports to claim that caffeine toxicity killed their 14 year old daughter. Illinois Democrat, Senator Dick Durbin, is asking the FDA to consider caffeine limits on energy drinks after emergency room visits involving these products spiked from 2005 to 2009.
These death reports were among 37 adverse reaction reports since 2004 that mentioned Monster beverages. Over the past 16 years, Monster has sold more than 8 billion energy drinks, which have been safely consumed all over the world.
The company released a statement stating that “Monster does not believe that its beverages are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier (the 14 year old girl). Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks.”
The company intends to strongly defend its stance against the lawsuit.
Emergency room visits involving energy drinks increased to 13,114 in 2009 with half of those trips made by 18-25 year olds and also involved the use of drugs and alcohol. Of those reports that were linked to Monster, life-threatening illnesses were classified as chest pain, heart attacks, and vomiting.
Monster and other energy drink competitors are not restricted by FDA guidelines on caffeine because the drinks are often sold as dietary supplements. Monster does not list the amount of caffeine in its formula, according to the lawsuit.
According to the Fourniers’ lawyer, out of the five deaths, this is the first wrongful death case involving a minor child against an energy drink company. Statements from other victims’ families and further actions have yet to be disclosed.
For more information on rules and regulations on health risks involving Monster or any such related product, please contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.