Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Sure, their ads promote a certain “extreme” lifestyle, full of rock and roll and motorbikes, but new reports issued to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are now linking Monster high energy drink to the deaths of 5 people in the last year alone, according to a report from Bloomberg.
According to reports, each of the 5 victims had consumed Monster energy drinks just before their deaths. Shelly Burgess, a spokesperson for the FDA, told Bloomberg that each of these reports were submitted voluntarily and will be considered allegations until the agency can investigate further.
Now, these reports are set to be used in a lawsuit against Monster by parents of a 14-year old girl who claim their daughter died of caffeine toxicity after drinking too many of the high energy drinks.
This issue isn´t a new one, as cases involving such high energy drinks have jumped tenfold from 2005 to 2009.
“FDA continues to evaluate the emerging science on a variety of ingredients, including caffeine,” said Burgess in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
According to Mail Online, Anais Fournier, a Maryland teen, had consumed 2, 24-ounce cans of Monster energy drink last year, just 2 days before Christmas. Fournier went into a cardiac arrest later, and her autopsy revealed that the 14-year old girl had died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. This toxicity had limited her heart´s ability to pump blood as it needed to.
A medical examiner later discovered that Fournier also had a preexisting condition which made her blood vessels weaker than normal.
Ms. Fournier´s parents, Wendy Crossland and Richard Fournier, spoke with the Record Herald about their California lawsuit against Monster.
“I was shocked to learn the FDA can regulate caffeine in a can of soda, but not these huge energy drinks,” said Crossland.
“With their bright colors and names like Monster, Rockstar, and Full Throttle, these drinks are targeting teenagers with no oversight or accountability. These drinks are death traps for young, developing girls and boys, like my daughter, Anais,” she added.
Each 24-ounce can (the smallest size offered) contains not only twice as much liquid as the normal soda can, it also contains 240 milligrams of caffeine: 7 times the amount found in a normal 12-ounce can of soda.
While there are other energy drinks available, like the aforementioned Full Throttle and Rockstar, Monster sells the lion´s share of energy drinks on the market.
According to Bloomberg, Monster sold $1.6 billion worth of highly caffeinated beverage last year. Business has been booming for the company as well, as their sales have tripled since 2006.
“Over the past 16 years Monster has sold more than 8 billion energy drinks, which have been safely consumed worldwide,” explained a Monster spokesperson in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
“Monster does not believe that its beverages are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier. Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks.”
A trial date for the cases between Crossland, Fournier and Monster has yet to be set, as lawyers for the Maryland parents continue to investigate similar cases.