Energy drinks have quickly become a part of the American snacking lifestyle. As Americans work longer hours and try to fit in more activities within a day, such drinks are considered a life-saver among many. Makers of energy drinks have responded, adding more caffeine to the drinks and increasing the size of the product. Unfortunately, with the increased caffeine levels come increased health risks.
A recent lawsuit was filed against Monster Energy for wrongful death as it was alleged that a 14-year old girl died from consuming the energy product. There is also an allegation that the company failed to warn of the risks associated with such a high consumption of caffeine. Energy drinks are not regulated by the FDA as they are considered dietary supplements. Many such drinks contain caffeine from a variety of sources and they also include vitamins, sugars and other herbs. Not all of these are required to be listed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so they are in compliance with federal regulations. At the time studies did not show a link but consumer groups have paid attention to the numerous complaints.
The risk of a problem is raised when the energy drink is combined with alcohol. Many new alcoholic drinks in establishments have included the use of highly-caffeinated drinks. Studies have not been conclusive as to the effect of such a combination due to ethical concerns about creating such a study. Any other studies have been discredited because they are usually funded by the energy drink companies themselves. The companies continue to deny any such connection to their product.
The volume of complaints, however, makes it difficult to ignore the issue. More recent, independent studies are beginning to find a link between consumption of the energy drinks and subsequent heart problems. This is especially concerning since these companies market to a young demographic and, not surprisingly, these consumers are the majority of their customers. Regulators have asked such companies to stop marketing to youth as Congress begins to study the effects of the energy drinks on the health of people. Also included is the possibility that these companies may need to improve their labeling to highlight the risks of such drinks for all consumers.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.