Energy drinks are taking a hit this week. Specifically, Monster Energy. The highly caffeinated drink has been cited in five deaths and other dangerous health incidents, which have lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate.
CBS News reported this morning that many claims of adverse reactions to Monster Energy drinks have been reported. The drink is a 24-ounce carbonated beverage with 240 milligrams of caffeine. For perspective, that amount is seven times that found in a regular 12 ounce soda.
The most recent startling news about the drink involves the death of a 14-year-old girl. The teen reportedly drank two 24-ounce Monsters in a 24-hour period and later died. Her autopsy determined she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. CBS reports that the child’s parents were never properly warned by Monster about its possible risks.
The drink company does put labels on the cans stating that the product is not recommended for children and those who have sensitivity to caffeine. However, after the investigations, this may not be a suitable warning any longer.
Monster is not alone in this arena. The business of energy drinks is booming. Americans are buying less soda, but they are now buying more energy drinks. The report stated that sales of energy drinks have gone up 17% since 2011. That equals a lot of powerful drinks out on the market.
The FDA doesn’t limit the caffeine amount on energy drink even though they do on soda. Caffeine in soda is limited to 0.02 percent; energy drinks can put in as much as they like.
With sales going up and there currently being no restrictions on the caffeine limits, investigations outside of the current FDA investigation are taking place as it just seems too dangerous to have such drinks on the market without stricter regulations. Currently children can buy and consume as many as they please. Today’s news is surely enough for us to stop and reevaluate this.
October 23rd, 2012