Why didn’t the Food and Drug Administration warn the public of the potential danger of energy drinks like Monster? Don’t answer that, it was rhetorical, for the FDA has proven time and time again that keeping harmful food off the market is not their top priority. There are the numerous food recalls, deaths and alarming studies to prove it.
Now a 14-year-old girl and four others are dead, with all deaths linked to the energy drink Monster. According to NBC, Anais Fournier of Hagerstown, Md., went into cardiac arrest and died in December of 2011 after drinking two Monster drinks within a 24-hour period. On Friday, her parents filed a lawsuit in a Riverside, Calif., Superior Court, blaming the company that markets the Monster energy drinks for the death of their daughter. The suit claims the excessive doses of caffeine directly caused their child’s death.
The FDA now reports that the investigations don’t prove Monster caused the heart attack or death, but her parents strongly believe it did. The autopsy has the cause of death as “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity that impeded her heart’s ability to pump blood,” and Monster has excessive amounts of caffeine. Anais was reportedly watching a movie with her boyfriend when he frantically told her parents that “something was wrong with” her. She was rushed to the hospital but it was too late. (Read more here: Md. Girl's Death Among 5 Investigated in Connection With Monster Energy Drink).
During a CNN report on Saturday, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained the danger lurking in many of these energy drinks peddled to unknowing consumers. He said a 24-ounce can of Monster is equivalent to seven cans of soda, which means a massive amount of caffeine is being consumed when we drink just one can, much less two, in under 24 hours. Having an underlying medical condition exacerbates one’s chances of these drinks being a ticking time bomb.
If caffeine in large quantities is so dangerous, why hasn’t the FDA regulated it? Why isn't it warning consumers of the harmful effects? Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the “Dr. Oz Show,” has recently warned the public about arsenic in apple juice, rice and rice products and the recall of everything from eggs, milk, meat and even the so-called healthy foods like cantaloupe, lettuce and spinach, just to name a few. This shows just how inadequate this agency has been—which is downright alarming. (Read about arsenic scare here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13026533-first-it-was-apple-juice-now-its-rice-as-dr-oz-sounds-the-alarm-on-arsenic-in-rice).
Monster has since said in a statement to the press that they do not believe their drink is responsible for any of the five deaths. However, according to a CBS report, a 2008 study by Johns Hopkins had called for prominent warning labels on all energy drinks. (Read more here: FDA: Monster Energy Drinks Linked To 5 Deaths, Including Md. Teen).
Anais’s mom, Wendy Crossland, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she is now fighting to get Congress to force the FDA to administer tougher regulations on these drinks.