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Monster Energy drink indirectly connected to deaths
10.24.2012The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported that under certain circumstances, the syrupy, pep-boosting drink Monster Energy may be deadly.
News sources report that during the last three years, five individuals have passed away, possibly because they consumed Monster Energy Drink, although that remains uncertain. No direct correlation between drinking Monster and needing urgent care services from emergency department physicians has been definitively made. However, the New York Times reports that a 14-year-old girl died of severe heartbeat irregularities after consuming Monster for two days. The news source does not specify how many of the beverages, usually served in 24-ounce cans, the teenager drank per day.
Forbes Magazine reports that when the Times broke the story, Monster Beverage's stock promptly dropped 23 percent in two days. A statement from the company claims that "Neither the science nor the facts support the allegations that have been made. Monster reiterates that its products are and have always been safe."
Speaking to the Times, FDA representative Shelly Burgess said that in addition to the five deaths, one nonfatal heart attack and cases of stomach pain, vomiting, tremors and irregular heart rate have been indirectly linked to Monster. These symptoms had only been circumstantially associated with the drink since 2004, but the fatalities all occurred within the last three years. Burgress went on to say the cases are still being examined, but Monster Energy had the first responsibility to make sure its beverages didn't have anything to do with these issues.
Meanwhile, Monster Energy representative Judy Lin Stefcu told the news source that her company had no idea its products had been connected to any deaths and had not been contacted by the FDA about these incidents. In addition, she was unsure if her company kept track of the FDA database for such occurrences.
Forbes follows up
Warnings against consumption by individuals under 18 appear on cans of Monster and other energy drinks, but Forbes Magazine notes that this demographic is responsible for a major part of the surging popularity of energy drinks. Monster, the news provider reported, eclipsed Red Bull as the number one energy drink last year in the U.S., according to market shares.
The statement from the company states at that a 16-ounce cup of coffee has more caffeine than a 24-ounce can of Monster. However, Forbes reports to the contrary - that the 240 milligrams in a 24-ounce can of Monster contains approximately the same amount of caffeine as seven cups of coffee.
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