I woke up to the disappointing news that McDonald’s will be selling Monster Energy Drinks. Really? I guess I should not be surprised McDonald’s seems desperate these days and willing to do anything to compete with Chipotle and the other restaurant chains beating it out in the marketplace. But selling energy drinks?? With Big Macs? In my opinion this will surely trigger a few heart attacks, and McDonald’s will have blood on its hands.

Sadly, although The American Medical Association has banned the marketing of energy drinks to children under the age of 18 and the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that children should not drink energy drinks, our teenagers will now be able to walk into McDonald’s and buy a Monster Energy Drink with her McNuggets.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that energy drink companies target their marketing at teenagers.

The main problem with energy drinks is that companies, such as Monster, do not provide consumers with any warning that their product can be extremely dangerous to anyone with an underlying heart condition. Many young kids/teens who consume energy drinks may have underlying heart conditions that have not yet been diagnosed because of their age.

Will McDonald’s provide this needed warning to its customers?  I doubt it. Its much more likely that McDonald’s will put its corporate profits over customer safety and just sell as many Monster Energy Drinks as it possibly can (yet ironically they post the calorie counts for their cheeseburgers).

Our legal team at Goldberg Finnegan, in conjunction with several other law firms, has filed numerous lawsuits against energy drink companies, in cases in which young relatively healthy individuals suffer heart attacks after drinking energy drinks. Some of our cases involve young teens who have died.

We have well qualified medical expert witnesses who feel strongly that energy drinks are extremely dangerous and are not fit for human consumption. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that children should not drink energy drinks.

The problem with energy drinks is not just the high levels of caffeine. It is also the synergistic effect of the caffeine with other chemicals such as Taurine, Panax Ginseng, Guarana and Inositol. There have been dozens of adverse events reported to the Food and Drug Administration related to energy drink consumption. Emergency Room Visits related to energy drink consumption are skyrocketing (doubled from 10,068 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011 according to one federal report).

The combination of ingredients in most energy drinks have never been scientifically tested in labs or in animal studies. Instead, the safety testing is happening in the marketplace and some people are suffering serious injuries (yes folks—your teenagers are the guinea pigs for the energy drink industry!). We tried to get a bill passed here in Maryland to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors and we had the support of the entire Maryland medical community. Shocker.The bill died in committee due to heavy lobbying by the energy drink industry and the AMA. Click here if you want to see the hearing the evidence was crystal clear that energy drinks are dangerous and should not be sold to those under 18.

If you or someone you care about suffered an injury after consuming energy drinks, call us at (888) 213-8140 for a free consultation.

Many people think that the FDA has approved the safety of energy drinks. They have not. The fact is that there is minimal regulation of this booming industry. You see, in order to sell an energy drink (or any food product), all a company has to do is file a piece of paper with the FDA indicating that the individual ingredients in energy drinks are Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS). This is called a GRAS Notification. The companies have the option of filing a GRAS Petition to get the explicit approval of the FDA, but none of the energy drink companies have done that. Instead they take the easy route and just file the GRAS Notification.

The industry has refused to put themselves under the closer scrutiny that would come if they actually filed a GRAS petition.

The FDA does not require any formal testing and from what I can tell, most energy drink companies have not tested the combination of ingredients in their products. They don’t test. They don’t properly warn. And they market to teenagers in a way that is reminiscent of how the Cigarette Companies used Joe Camel campaigns in the ’70s and ’80s.

The multi-billion dollar Energy Drink Industry has exploded without the FDA’s explicit approval (Yes—-energy drink companies have very good lobbyists). What people need to know is THAT THE FDA HAS NEVER EXPLICITLY STATED THAT ENERGY DRINKS ARE SAFE. I have carefully reviewed the literature, scientific evidence and anecdotal evidence in the public domain, and what is clear to me is that energy drinks are extremely dangerous to anyone with an underlying heart condition.

Don’t let your kids drink them! I’m sure that McDonald’s, who advertises that they have healthy alternatives, has reviewed the same scientific information and data that I have. Its unfortunate that they have made a decision to get in bed with an industry that markets a product that is harming some people.