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Monster "Energy" Drinks Safety Raises Questions

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The City Attorney for San Francisco has requested one major "Monster Drink" producer to give evidence that proves advertising and marketing claims directed toward the adolescent market about its caffeine-loaded drinks. In a letter of October 31 to Monster Beverage, Dennis J. Herrera told the company to "substantiate its claim that large daily quantities of Monster Energy were safe for adolescents and adults."

The publicly traded company, Monster Beverage, responded that "the Company can document the legal basis by which its products are properly labeled dietary supplements," and also noted that third party scientific documentation substantiates their safety… I wonder which third party scientific opinion underwrote the beverage’s safe consumption.

Five deaths since 2009 may be linked to the Monster Energy drinks. Thus far, the FDA says there is insufficient data to attribute the deaths to Monster Energy drinks. But the New York State attorney general is investigating the practices of several energy drink producers.

Monster Beverage doesn’t disclose the caffeine levels in the drink, but its labels "advise against drinking more than three of the 16-ounce cans or two of the 24-ounce cans daily" which could contain as much as 480 milligrams of caffeine. (The New York Times, 11/02/12)

Until the safety of this product is actually determined, how many adolescents continue to chug these drinks for a cheap and quick buzz?