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Five reported deaths linked to Monster Energy Drink — FDA

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | 12:12 PM    

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HAGERSTOWN, Maryland (AP) — The highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack, according to reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating.

The reports claim that people had adverse reactions after they consumed Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, or seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce cola.

Although the FDA is investigating the allegations, which date back to 2004, the agency said the reports don't necessarily prove that the drinks caused the deaths or injuries.

"As with any reports of a death or injury the agency receives, we take them very seriously and investigate diligently," Shelly Burgess, a FDA spokeswoman, said in a statement.

News of the FDA's investigation follows a filing last week of a wrongful death suit in Riverside, California, by the parents of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours. An autopsy concluded that she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity and the medical examiner also found that she had an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels. But the child's parents claim Monster failed to warn about the risks of drinking its products.

Monster Beverage Corporation which touts on its web site that the Monster Energy Drink is a "killer energy brew" and "the meanest energy supplement on the planet," puts labels on cans that state that the drinks are not recommended for children and people who are sensitive to caffeine. 

The company, based in Corona, California, did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment on Monday, but said last week that it is "unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks."

Jamaican distributor World Brands Services refused to comment on the development.

 

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