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Stalemate? FDA Doesn’t Use Broadened Authority to Curtail Energy Drinks

4 comments

Monster’s stock recently rose 13 percent to $51.97, Bloomberg News reported on November 27, on the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will probably take no action to curtail beverage companies’ production of energy drinks. This is so even though Monster Beverage Corp.’s energy drinks were implicated in the deaths of five people during the past year. The FDA apparently has decided to employ the aid of independent consultants "to determine whether the beverages may cause harm when consumed in excess or by those with pre-existing cardiac conditions," according to the Bloomberg News piece by Duane D. Stanford and Anna Edney.

The FDA noted in a letter to Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) that the "FDA has little reason to think energy drinks are unsafe when used in a responsible manner." Citing the fact that the energy drinks may have been used inappropriately, "the FDA would have no jurisdiction to take action against the manufacturer," according to Judy Hong, an analyst with Goldman Sachs. Because energy drinks are frequently sold as dietary supplements, they fly under the radar of the FDA’s regulations. The agency may eventually move to regulate the product’s use or require a change in labeling which could alter the playing field. The FDA plans to examine whether the energy drinks’ ingredients, in addition to caffeine, are safe; ingredients include guarana (a common ingredient in so-called diet pills) and taurine, neither of which, alone, the FDA has found to cause problems.

What should be done, if anything, about these so-called "energy drinks"? Is this much ado about nothing, or is it a real problem?

4 Comments

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  1. Parenting Problems says:
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    Consdiering one of the deaths involved a young girl with heart problems, a lot of the blame needs to go on the parents who let their teenage daugthers hang out at the mall all day and drink Monster. If that girl drank a couple of Starbucks double espressos(which have more caffeine) in the same time frame the same thing would have happened. She would be dead.

  2. Greg Webb says:
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    Sir/Madam,

    Thank you for commenting on the Monster drink piece. If I am correct, you blame the parents for not prohibiting their daughter from going to the mall? And then not watching and monitoring everything that she drank or ate? That is a pretty tall order in my opinion, but I do not know this young lady’s medical history in detail. Perhaps she should have been confined to her home.

  3. Paretning Problems says:
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    Way to take it all out of context Greg. My point was that who lets their 14 yr old daughter (who they know has a pre-exisiting heart condition!!!) drink energy drinks loaded with caffeine at the mall all freaking day? She had a disorder that weakened her blood vessels yet mommy is okay with her pounding Monster every day? I mean wow. And no I don’t expect the parents to watch their kids all day long. But that’s where the parenting at home part comes in where you tell your kids what to do and what not to do. It’s very simple.

  4. Greg Webb says:
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    Unfortunately, I have found very little to be simple when it comes to teenagers. Or people in general. You assume the parents knew she “was pounding MOnster all day” and that the parents knew they were “loaded with caffeine”. What does that mean? How much caffeine? It gets complicated sometimes.