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FDA probes 5 deaths linked to MONSTER energy drink


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#1 key2thecup

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:05 PM

U.S. probes deaths for links to Monster energy drink

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(Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was investigating reports of five deaths that may be associated with Monster Beverage Corp's namesake energy drink, and the company's shares fell more than 14 percent.

Monster is also being sued by the family of a 14-year-old Maryland girl with a heart condition who died after drinking two cans of its Monster energy drink in a 24-hour period.
Monster said it does not believe its drinks are "in any way responsible" for the girl's death.
The energy drink market is dominated by Monster and Austrian company Red Bull, but it also includes beverages made by Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo.

The lawsuit and reports of other deaths that may be associated with energy drinks illustrate safety concerns surrounding the highly caffeinated beverages that are especially popular with young people. They could also embolden the industry's critics, including two senators and the New York attorney general.

"I don't think they are going to ban energy drinks," said Morningstar analyst Thomas Mullarkey. "The question arises whether or not it gives them more firepower for increased regulation."

That could mean more extensive labeling requirements or age restrictions, Mullarkey said. He added that the negative headlines also made Monster a less attractive takeover target.

"This really reduces the likelihood that Coke would want to acquire Monster," Mullarkey said. Sources told Reuters in April that the two companies had discussed a possible deal as recently as last year.
CONCERNS NOT NEW

The family of Anais Fournier sued Monster on Friday for failing to warn about the product's dangers.
The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in Riverside, said that after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy on consecutive days Fournier went into cardiac arrest. She was placed in an induced coma and died six days later on December 23, 2011.

The lawsuit said Fournier died from "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity" that complicated an existing heart valve condition related to a disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

The two drinks together contained 480 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of 14 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola, according to the lawsuit.

"Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks," the company said in a statement, adding that it intended to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.

On Monday, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said the agency had received reports of five deaths and one heart attack that may be associated with the Monster energy drink from 2009 through June this year.

The FDA said it investigates any report of injury or death that it receives. The notices to the FDA's adverse events database do not in themselves confirm a risk from a product.

Burgess said manufacturers are required to submit all reports on serious adverse events to the FDA within 15 days of receiving them, and that they are responsible for providing follow-up information that could shed light on their cause.

Last month, Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to the FDA asking it to investigate the interaction of ingredients in energy drinks and the effect of the caffeine on children and adolescents. The letter followed a similar request from Durbin in April.
In July, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to three energy drink makers -- Monster, PepsiCo and Living Essentials LLC -- seeking information on the companies' marketing and advertising practices. PepsiCo makes the AMP energy drink, and Living Essentials makes 5-Hour Energy.

The combination of caffeine and alcohol came into the spotlight two years ago when a handful of college students were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning after drinking alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko. Four Loko's maker later removed the caffeine from the drinks.

Monster is the leading U.S. energy drink by volume with nearly 39 percent of the U.S. market, but Austria's Red Bull has the highest share by revenue due to its premium price.

Monster Energy drinks are sold in the United States and Europe, and the company is rolling them out to Ecuador, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Slovenia. It said in August that it was planning more international launches next year.

The company had net sales of $592.6 million in the second quarter, ended on June 30.
Monster shares closed down 14.23 percent at $45.73 on the Nasdaq.

The case is Crossland et al v. Monster Beverage Corp, California Superior Court, Riverside County, No. RIC1215551.

http://www.reuters.c...E89L16G20121022




Anais Fournier's parents file wrongful death lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp.
Hagerstown teen died nearly one year ago from caffeine toxicity after drinking two Monster Energy drinks.

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Anais Fournier's parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp. in California nearly a year after the 14-year-old went into cardiac arrest after drinking two 24-ounce cans of the drinks in December 2011. She was pronounced brain dead six days later.


Wendy Crossland and Richard Fournier, both of Hagerstown, allege the energy drinks contributed to Anais’ death, which was officially caused by “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity complicating mitral valve regurgitation in the setting of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome,” according to her death certificate and court records.

Legal action

The lawsuit — with Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester LLC of Silver Spring, Md., and additional counsel with R. Rex Parris Law Firm in Lancaster, Calif., and Miles & Stockbridge P.C. in Baltimore — was filed through the Superior Court of California for the County of Riverside on Oct. 17.

It alleges Monster Energy has continued to conceal the exact amounts of caffeine contained in its drinks. It also alleges the company has failed to test its products for effects of the cardiovascular system, has purposely designed its product for teen and young adult consumers and has failed to alert consumers of the serious health risks the drinks can cause, especially if consumed by someone with an underlying heart condition.

The lawsuit is seeking “to recover all damages allowed by law for personal injuries suffered by their daughter prior to her death,” the complaint reads. “Additionally, the plaintiffs seek to recover all damages allowed by law as a result of the wrongful death of their daughter.”

“Monster, with their targeted marketing practices and promotion of energy drinks to teenagers, put profits over the safety of America’s youth,” said attorney Kevin Goldberg of Goldberg, Finnegan, and Mester. “Nothing can bring Anais back, but we can tell the world these energy drinks are harmful.”

The drinks and FDA

Crossland, who said she cannot comment on the lawsuit, previously said she was not filing the suit for the money, but wanted to alert national audiences of the dangers associated with the drinks and hopes they will be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“I was shocked to learn the FDA can regulate caffeine in a can of soda, but not these huge energy drinks,” Crossland said in a news release from Goldberg. “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.

“Nothing will replace the love and vitality of Anais,” she continued. “I just want Monster Energy to know their product can kill.”

http://www.therecord.../NEWS/121029970


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#2 Russ

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:14 PM

She had a heart condition and drank 2 drinks in which speed up your heart and provide you with energy.... Really stupid move by the parents, feel awful for the girl who died but honestly how stupid can you be.

Something like this won't stop me from drinking energy drinks, you just have to drink them properly and not overdue it.
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#3 Kass9

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:16 PM

If you have a known heart condition, wouldn't it be known to not drink such things?

I don't even prefer these sorts of drinks..
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#4 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

They may be targeting teenagers but kids need to also learn to stop putting crap in their bodies. You wouldn't fill a Ferrari with a piss poor quality fuel, so why do it to yourself? Plus, you can replace a Ferrari, you only get one body.
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#5 Stefan

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:51 PM

It says on the can to not drink more than one in 24 hours doesn't it?
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#6 Where's Wellwood

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:53 PM

This is the equivalent of the family of a recently deceased obese man, sueing fast food chains for making him fat. You're responsible for what you put in your bodies. The company isn't at fault if the person consumes excessive amounts. Red bull, i know, has a note on the can saying not to exceed a certain amount per day. This girl should have realized that with a heart condition, too much caffiene is a bad thing.
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#7 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:57 PM

This is the equivalent of the family of a recently deceased obese man, sueing fast food chains for making him fat. You're responsible for what you put in your bodies. The company isn't at fault if the person consumes excessive amounts. Red bull, i know, has a note on the can saying not to exceed a certain amount per day. This girl should have realized that with a heart condition, too much caffiene is a bad thing.



This^
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#8 Russ

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:59 PM

It says on the can to not drink more than one in 24 hours doesn't it?

Pretty sure it does, I can check later when I grab one.
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#9 Gerg

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:03 PM

About time, the FDA should have been in on this a long time ago. I'm hoping that they'll make it off limits to those under 18 or 19. I can't stand the thought of teenagers who are still developing having this stuff accelerating their hearts.

I used to love drinking them, I can't go anywhere near them anymore without having heart troubles.
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#10 c00kies

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:07 PM

I don't find energy drinks tasty or beneficial. I think it's just a cool trend for teens.

It's unfortunate that that happened to her though.
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#11 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:09 PM

I don't find energy drinks tasty or beneficial. I think it's just a cool trend for teens.

It's unfortunate that that happened to her though.


I don't recall finding them beneficial either. I just enjoyed the taste.

And it's definitely a teenager trend. Some kids pound them back at parties. The Rockstar Vodka's or whatever. I'm surprised more people don't get messed up off of energy drinks.
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#12 Primus099

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:29 PM

doesn't it say right on it NOT to drink it if you have a heart condition? or to consult a physician before you do?
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#13 Squirrels.Gone.Wild

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:33 PM

doesn't it say right on it NOT to drink it if you have a heart condition? or to consult a physician before you do?


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Can't say they don't warn you.
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#14 Kamero89

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:17 PM

I don't think teens should be able to buy these drinks over the counter. A few instances (when I was in high school) happened where people needed to go to the hospital b/c they had heart problems and drank too many of those energy drinks. Thankfully no one died, but teens are dumb, and will drink a few of those a day. I did a few times in high school.

Go after the law, not the company. Why not prevent this from happening to other kids, instead of trying to get a cash settlement out of it?
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#15 Kamero89

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:18 PM

I don't find energy drinks tasty or beneficial. I think it's just a cool trend for teens.

It's unfortunate that that happened to her though.

Teens growing bodies are not generally ready to consume 3 cans worth of caffeine though, even with out a heart condition.
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#16 ZackAttack-9

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:27 PM

Even at 28, When I drank even one can, my nerves shimmied like I'd had 4 coffees simultaneously. The stuff is toxic and heavily endorsed by everything from x-games, crashed ice, mma, etc. Another thing we'll look back on and say... wtf.

That being said.. the only drop shots I like are amaretto/beer and yag/redbull.
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#17 Primus099

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:00 PM

I bet they'll pass a law that you have to be a certain age to drink energy drinks now after this
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#18 Horny Manatee

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:05 PM

I was literally addicted to RockStar energy drinks for about two months about 5 years ago. I felt like I needed one everyday so I had one everyday. I would wake up feeling dehydrated and tired but I didn't care.

It makes me feel stupid now that I think back.
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#19 Argon

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'm more surprized that there hasn't been more mishaps with alcohol and energy drinks. If I remember correctly it says don't mix with alcohol, yet jagerbombs are so common and readily available in bars...
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#20 JimLahey

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:20 PM

I don't recall finding them beneficial either. I just enjoyed the taste.

And it's definitely a teenager trend. Some kids pound them back at parties. The Rockstar Vodka's or whatever. I'm surprised more people don't get messed up off of energy drinks.


This is what I don't understand. I hardly drink the things but I generally take a look at the can out of habit for whatever reason. "Do not mix with alcohol" is on any I have ever had, and Rockstar will sell a vodka energy drink?
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#21 KoreanHockeyFan

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:53 PM

Yuck, energy drinks...they taste horrible and I completely crash after just one can, it's crazy what these drinks can do.
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#22 Hobble

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:14 PM

Energy drinks taste like cold piss. Don't know why people drink them so much.
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#23 Exarch

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:57 PM

This is what I don't understand. I hardly drink the things but I generally take a look at the can out of habit for whatever reason. "Do not mix with alcohol" is on any I have ever had, and Rockstar will sell a vodka energy drink?


Not saying it makes it any better for you, but the Rockstar + Vodka drinks have much less Caffeine than regular Rockstar. Something around 35 milligrams and 160-180 milligrams respectively.

Edited by Exarch, 23 October 2012 - 08:58 PM.

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#24 nucklehead

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

She had a heart condition and drank 2 drinks in which speed up your heart and provide you with energy.... Really stupid move by the parents, feel awful for the girl who died but honestly how stupid can you be.  

Something like this won't stop me from drinking energy drinks, you just have to drink them properly and not overdue it.


You know when Viagra hit the market there were tons of teenage boys taking it. and bragging. I haven't the first idea why.If you're a teen consuming energy drinks for energy, you and your parent and your doctor need to sit down and examine what that's all about.
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#25 JimLahey

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:55 PM

Not saying it makes it any better for you, but the Rockstar + Vodka drinks have much less Caffeine than regular Rockstar. Something around 35 milligrams and 160-180 milligrams respectively.


Hmm.. Didn't know that - I just assumed it was a normal energy drink with vodka. :)
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#26 Offensive Threat

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:04 PM

I remember back when the first energy drinks came out. Before red bull. Cant even remember what it was called but I tried one. Tasted like crap and just made me jumpy. Never had one again. They werent popular at the time and I was sure it would stay that way but kids are stupid and Monster and red bull spend a lot of money marketing directly to them. Now its considered normal for a kid to grab a red bull instead of a coke. maybe an age restriction should be mandatory for drinks with more than a certain amount of caffeine or sugar in them. Its obvious kids cant be expected to not drink things that are bad for them by themselves. Christ they keep on getting hooked on meth even when being bombarded by the info on how bad it is.

Also for adults, when we were in Vegas last spring I was surprised by every bar offering red bull and jager shots on special. Sure its on special for $5 bucks cuzz its cheap and easy as hell to make. 1/2 can Red bull plus 1 oz Jagermeister and thats it. First off Jagermeister is a herbed liqueur that tastes terrible and only idiots drink it because of its name. Why it became famous here in North America after over 30 years as a mostly disregarded drink in Europe is anybodies guess. Cuzz it was featured in The Hangover? Dont know. Second off Red Bull tasted terrible so the combined drink is god awful. If you need a pick me up have a tequila shot and quite being a little girl.
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#27 Common sense

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:28 PM

Did she know about the heart defect in the first place? If she did, then throw this case out - it even says on the can to not consumer if you have problems with your body dealing with caffeine.

Of course, this is the US, where frivolous lawsuits are handed out as freely as dollar bills to a stripper, so anything's possible.
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#28 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:35 PM

There's no logic in drinking one of these things unless both healthy and with a specific reason to drink it. To do so is to expose yourself to unnecessary risks.

Edited by zaibatsu, 23 October 2012 - 11:41 PM.

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#29 AllHailSmyl

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:12 AM

They may be targeting teenagers but kids need to also learn to stop putting crap in their bodies. You wouldn't fill a Ferrari with a piss poor quality fuel, so why do it to yourself? Plus, you can replace a Ferrari, you only get one body.


You need to hook me up with your job if you have enough income to replace your Ferrari :D
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By the way learn how to spell SHIRIKOV who is this shirakov


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#30 Squeak

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:41 AM

Red Bull is the only one i can tolerate; and eveb then I have maybe 1 or 2 a year.

I only drink them when I am EXHAUSTED and need a boost for a few hours-- i.e. after a night of beers, followed by the first chair at Whistler. But even then I feel like garbage.


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