Important Safety Information About Energy Drinks
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Sep 29, 2014 in Energy Drinks
Parents of teenagers and young adults need to know that energy drinks can be dangerous and they should never be consumed by children or young adults (or anyone for that matter).
The FDA has never approved the safety of energy drinks. In fact, the FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Foods is quoted in Murray Carpenters book, Caffeinated, as saying, I cant vouch for the safety of energy drinks. It's not that we can prove them to be dangerous, but if someone wants us to vouch for them, sorry.
Some energy drink companies target their marketing at children as young as 13 years old. When asked about its marketing practices, energy drink companies will say, "We don't market to children." (Somehow they choose to define children as younger than 12 years old).
Our law firm has been working closely with medical and scientific experts for the past two years, and we have grave concern that children and teenagers are at risk for heart attacks, strokes, and even death when they consume Energy Drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar and 5 Hour Energy (energy shot).
Here are some facts that you need to know:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a Clinical Report in May 2011 concluding that energy drinks should not be consumed by children/adolescents, and urging all pediatricians to counsel patients on the potential health risks of energy drinks.
- There have been numerous Adverse Event Reports (AERS) filed with the FDA since 2004at least 18 deaths and over 150 injuries.
- There has been a huge spike in Emergency Room visits related to energy drink consumption. According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services there were about 1,494 ER visits due to energy drinks in 1995. By 2011 the number had risen to over 20,000.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved the safety of energy drinks. The FDA also has never approved the amount of caffeine and other additives such as Taurine, Guarana, Inositol and Panax Ginseng that energy drink companies put in their drinks.
The FDA has never determined that the additives in energy drink are GRAS...The FDA has never determined that the additives in energy drinks are GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). The amount of caffeine in energy drinks is well in excess of the amount of caffeine that the FDA determined was safe/GRAS for cola. Energy Drink companies are taking the easy way out, and rather than filing formal GRAS notifications with the FDA, they are self-certifying their ingredients as GRAS often without the rigorous testing, research, and demonstration of scientific consensus that is required by law.
- Energy Drink companies continue to target their marketing towards those as young as 13 years old using tactics that I think are similar to the Joe Camel campaigns used by Cigarette Companies in the early 1980s. They continue to market to kids even though the American Medical Association passed a Resolution supporting a ban on the marketing of energy drinks to those under 18.
- The first personal injury trial against an energy maker went to trial in July, 2014 in Durant, Oklahoma (Wheat v. Monster). I sat through a large part of that trial, and can tell you that the evidence was overwhelming that the Plaintiffs permanent injuries were caused by his consumption of a Monster Energy Drink. In my opinion, the Plaintiffs proved that 16-year-old Jason Hamrick suffered a heart attack as a result of consuming Monster Energy. I believe that Monster was concerned that there would be a huge verdict in this case. Rather than risk this, after the Plaintiffs presented their evidence, Monster settled the case for a confidential amount.
- In the State of Maryland, we introduced a bill that would have banned the sale of energy drinks to those under 18. The entire Maryland Medical Community, including Med Chi, University of Maryland, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) supported the bill. Despite this overwhelming support from the medical and scientific community, the Energy Drink Company lobbyists were out in full force, and the bill died in Committee. To see the hearing on this Bill click here.
- Individuals with heart conditions should never consume energy drinks. Unfortunately most energy drink cans do not warn this vulnerable group of the dangers of energy drinks.
- Individuals on prescription stimulants for Asthma, ADHD, or other medical conditions should never drink energy drinks. Unfortunately most energy drink cans do not warn this vulnerable group of the dangers of energy drinks.
If you or anyone you know has suffered an injury as a result of consuming energy drinks, have them call Goldberg Finnegan at 888-213-8140. Our firm is at the forefront of efforts to rein in the energy drink companies.
In addition to representing numerous individuals in lawsuits for personal injury and death, we have also sponsored a bill that would ban the sale of energy drinks to children in Maryland, and have filed a Private Attorney General Action against Monster Beverage Corporation in Washington, D.C. urging them to change their practices.