Deaths Trigger the Need for Energy Drink Regulation
- Ennis & Ennis
10/24/2012 - The recent death of a 14-year old girl after consuming Monster Energy drinks has called into question the need for energy drink regulation. Energy drinks can currently be marketed as either a beverage or a dietary supplement, thereby varying the regulations.
The United States appears to be lagging behind in energy drink regulations. In Canada, for instance, energy drinks cannot contain more than 180 mg of caffeine. This regulation applies to the canned energy drinks, not the small energy “shots” currently on the market. Other countries such as Mexico, France and India are considering imposing heavier taxes on such beverages in order to discourage the use.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of five deaths since 2009 involving Monster Beverage alone. This number is likely to be much higher, as most people do not report the incidents to the FDA, and does not take into account all of the other energy drinks on the market. The energy drink industry is a popular industry with sales of $8.9 billion, according to Beverage Digest.
Some skeptics argue that it is not up to the government to regulate such drinks and that Americans should have the right to consume such beverages. The flaw in that thinking is that many of these energy drinks are marketed toward teens and young adults and teens are able to purchase such beverages without an adult. Monster Energy, for example, advertises “Unleash the Beast” and appeals to young males and females by showing bikini-clad women, known as Monster Girls, as well as various athletic endorsements from athletes involved in motor sports and action sports. The amount of caffeine in some of these drinks is enough to sicken children and some adults, but teens and young adults would not be aware of the potential dangerous risks posed by the high caffeine content. This is confirmed by the fact that there were over 12,000 emergency room visits linked to energy drinks in the United States in 2009, which was a tenfold increase from such visits reported in 2005.
Ennis & Ennis, P.A. continues to offer free, nationwide, confidential consultations to anyone who has suffered a sudden cardiac event shortly after consuming an energy drink by calling toll free 1-800-856-6405 or by the free energy drink lawsuit evaluation form on this page.
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