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Alleged Monster energy drink-related deaths prompt federal investigation

by AirTalk®

Bottles of energy drink, Monster, lie on display at a market March 6, 2006 in Des Plaines, Illinois. A new study reportedly links sugary sodas and drinks to the obesity epidemic. Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Federal health officials are investigating reports of energy drink-related medical problems. Since 2009, five deaths and one heart attack have been linked to consumption of Monster energy drinks.

The federal investigation follows the most recent fatality: a Maryland family is suing the company for negligence and the wrongful death of their 14-year-old daughter, who went into cardiac arrest after consuming two cans of the energy drink. The coroner’s report showed that her minor, underlying heart condition was aggravated by caffeine, and that she died of caffeine toxicity.

Monster’s labeling warns of high caffeine content, and as of next December will include warnings about dangers to children, pregnant women, and people with caffeine sensitivity. How extensive should labeling on highly caffeinated beverages be? How can children’s consumption of potentially dangerous drinks be monitored or prevented?


David Stewart, professor of marketing at Loyola Marymount University

Katherine Mangu-Ward, managing editor for Reason Magazine

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