Anais Fournier, from Hagerstown, Maryland died on December 23, 2011 of a cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity after consuming Monster energy drinks. She was a beautiful, caring and smart 14 year old girl. After meeting Anais’ mother Wendy Crossland this week, I spent the better part of the past 2 days learning about the dangers of Caffeinated Energy Drinks such as Red Bull, Monster Energy Drink and Full Throttle. What I learned is scary. These drinks are completely unregulated, and are marketed aggressively to children and teenagers. For those of you with a short attention span–here is what you absolutely need to know (and the caffeinated energy drink manufacturers will not tell you this).
If you (or your children) have an underlying heart condition of any kind-even a minor one-THEN DO NOT CONSUME THESE DRINKS.
Anais’s mother is taking action. She is circulating a petition asking Congress and FDA to regulate the caffeinated energy drink industry and to ban the sale of such drinks to minors.
The caffeinated energy drink market in the United States was estimated at $5.4 Billion in 2006 and it probably is close to $7-$9 Billion today. The main stimulant in these drinks is caffeine, but they also have other substances such as Taurine, riboflavin, guarana and other derivatives. It has been reported that the caffeine content ranges from about 50 milligrams per serving to 505 milligrams per serving.
These dangerous caffeinated energy drinks have been removed from the market in some European Countries such as France, but here in the USA they remain on the market, are marketed to our kids, and are not regulated by the FDA. The reason these energy drinks are unregulated goes back to 1980 when the FDA tried to regulate the caffeine content in soda and colas. Soft drink manufacturers (and their lobbyists) somehow convinced the FDA that caffeine was a flavor enhancer in soda, and that it was not used a “psychoactive ingredient.” the FDA does not regulate sodas but limits the caffeine content in soda to .02% (71 milligrams per 12 ounce drink). Almost all of the Energy Drinks that have come onto the market in the last 10 years exceed the .02% limit set for the cola industry. These new manufacturers of caffeinated energy drinks claim that they are not subject to the .02% limit because they claim their products fall under the 2004 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. The bottom line is that the FDA has not enforced the .02% limit against Monster Energy Drink and other caffeinated beverage manufacturers and – shockingly – DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY WARNING LABELS. An example of how ridiculous the inconsistency is and the absurd result this has led to is that over-the-counter stimulants such as No Doz with just 100 mg of caffeine per tablet are required to give consumers extensive warnings yet energy drink manufacturers who market 500 mg caffeinated energy drinks to kids do not have to give warnings and do not have to disclose the amount of caffeine in their product.
The Scientific Community is finally conducting studies on the dangers of these drinks. Once such study called “Caffeinated Energy Drinks-A Growing Problem”
The energy drink lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan, LLC is investigating claims and lawsuits against the manufacturers of these caffeinated energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull in circumstances where they cause injuries. We believe that the corporate manufacturers are negligently marketing these energy drinks to children and adults and are not providing proper warnings on the products of known dangers. For more information call a personal injury attorney from our law firm at (888) 213-8140.