The FDA raises concerns about Monster Energy and other “energy drinks.” Show Notes

Friday, November 02, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
Listen Now Number of listens: 0Download File Number of downloads: 0

Could Monster Energy drink be hazardous to your health?

Five people may have died over the past three years after drinking Monster Energy, a popular energy drink that is high in caffeine.

According to a story in the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration has released several incident reports about the deaths. However, the reports do not prove a link between Monster Energy and the deaths or other health problems.

The FDA records were recently obtained by the mother of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died in December from a heart arrhythmia after drinking large cans of Monster Energy on two consecutive days.

Wendy Crossland, the mother of that teenager, has filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverage. The lawsuit charges that Monster failed to warn about the risks of its energy drinks. A spokeswoman for the company says that its products are safe and were not the cause of the teenager’s death.

In an interview with the Times, an F.D.A. spokeswoman said the agency has received reports of five deaths with possible links to the drink as well as a report of a nonfatal heart attack.

The FDA reports mention other adverse health effects, such as abdominal pain, vomiting, tremors and abnormal heart rate. However, they don’t make it clear whether the incidents involved other factors, like alcohol or drugs.

Monster Energy is among scores of energy drinks like Red Bull and Rock Star, and energy “shots” like 5-hour Energy. These products are aggressively marketed to teenagers and young adults.

According to the story in the Times, healthy adults can safely consume large quantities of caffeine from sources like coffee, tea and energy drinks.  But the stimulant can pose risks to those with underlying conditions like heart disorders.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

« search entire media archive