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Attorney General Investigates Monster Energy Drink

August 15, 2012 — Monster Energy Corp. has disclosed that they are under investigation from an unnamed state attorney general regarding their line of Monster energy drinks. The information was disclosed in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday. Monster said that they received the subpoena in July which sought documents and information about the product’s “advertising, marketing, promotion, ingredients, usage, and sale.”

A company spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the information in the securities filing, and did not name the attorney who filed the subpoena. Furthermore, Monster said that the investigation has just begun, and they do not know whether the attorney will take further action against the company.

The market for energy drinks has grown significantly in the last few years, to $8.9 billion last year, up from $7.7 billion in 2010. The biggest players in the market are Monster and Red Bull.

However, the energy drinks have also faced increasing scrutiny in recent years. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill) asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to look into the safety of these energy drinks. Many are concerned about their questionable ingredients, lack of warnings, and aggressive marketing toward young people.

Senator Durbin’s request was in response to the death of a 14-year old girl. While she was hanging out with friends at the mall, she quickly consumed two 24-ounce Monster energy drinks which contained almost 500 milligrams of caffeine — five times the recommended daily allowance. She suffered a sudden irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) due to caffeine toxicity and died.

Caffeine can be toxic when excessive amounts are consumed (about 500-600 mg for most healthy adults). However, side effects of excessive consumption could be more severe for young people. Non-life-threatening side effects include insomnia, upset stomach, muscle tremors or twitches, irritability, nervousness. Caffeine can also increase heart rate and cause sudden irregular heartbeat, which could be life-threatening.

Despite the potential risks, many energy drinks do not even list the amount of caffeine on their ingredient label. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list the amount of caffeine or include warnings on the drink labels. Some products contain significantly higher amounts of minerals, vitamins, or caffeine, but they do not adequately warn about the risk of side effects.

Do I have an Energy Drink Lawsuit?

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