CORONA (CBSLA.com) — Corona-based Monster Beverage Corporation is under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration after its popular energy drink was cited in five deaths in the past few years.
Family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier from Maryland said she died of a heart attack last December after she drank two 24-oz. cans of Monster Energy drink.
Fournier’s cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity, but the coroner also said she had a mild underlying heart condition.
Attorney Kevin Goldberg said the family has sued the makers of the drink.
“The family really hopes that they can keep this from happening to anybody else,” he said.
Critics have said the problem lies in the way caffeine is regulated in energy drinks—as in, it’s not limited.
The FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda, but there is no limit for drinks like Monster.
A 24-oz. can of Monster has about seven times the amount of caffeine as a 12-oz. can of cola.
Cardiologist Dr. Richard Wright said those levels can be dangerous, especially for young people.
“The blood pressure may go up to dangerous levels… it’s also possible the heart rhythm could rise excessively. It’s a little bit why people feel jittery when drinking too much coffee or even Coca-Cola,” he said.
Although Monster didn’t return calls for comment from KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii, they gave a statement to a Baltimore sister station:
“Monster does not believe that its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier. Neither the science nor facts supports the allegations.”