Energy Drinks Deaths Raise Questions About Safety Disclosures
The recent reports of five deaths associated with Monster Energy drink has raised questions about the monitoring of product-safety processes followed by regulatory bodies and manufacturers.
The five deaths since 2009 linked to Monster Energy are being strongly scrutinized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported The New York Times. The energy drink is considered to be packed with caffeine, but the company, Monster Energy, maintains that the drink is safe for consumption. The company officials further said that they were unaware of injuries or deaths that may be linked to the product, other than one reported fatality.
Consumers are informed by the FDA about the adverse event reports related to drugs and medical equipment, but the agency does not make public the reports on dietary supplements such as beverages or energy drinks. As a result, consumers had no way of knowing about reports of deaths or injuries related to Monster Energy Drinks, until the adverse event reports were made public by the FDA while responding to a formal Freedom of Information Act request, reports theTimes.
The reports recently released by the FDA show that 20 other filings regarding serious injuries and deaths associated with Monster Energy were made. An FDA incident report does not necessarily mean that a product is the cause of the injury or death.
Nonetheless, U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) told the Times that the agency needed to make the reports available to consumers. Durbin is the co-sponsor of the law that requires supplement producers to file such reports.