If you have a news tip or story idea, I'd love to hear from you...
To leave a voice message for Linda about any of her stories call toll free 1-855-251-2363
Parents buzz about deaths linked to Monster Energy drinksOctober 22, 2012 @ 6:09 pm (Updated: 6:57 am - 10/23/12 )
FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess says they can't prove the drinks caused the deaths, that's why they're investigating. The deaths were between 2009 and June of this year.
The federal investigation follows a lawsuit filed after the death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who drank two 24-ounce Monster drinks within 24 hours.
That's like drinking 14 cans of Coca Cola. The two drinks contained 480 milligrams of caffeine.
An autopsy concluded she died of "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity." The lawsuit also notes she had an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels.
The company did not respond to my requests for an interview, but issued a statement saying it does not believe the energy drink was "in any way responsible" for the girl's death.
The combination of caffeine and alcohol came into the spotlight a couple of years ago when some students from Central Washington University were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. At first police thought someone slipped something into their drinks, but later determined the students were downing an alcoholic energy drink called Four Loko.
If you recall that story, you might remember the conclusion. Four Loko's maker removed the caffeine from the drinks.
"My son and his friends drink that crap all the time," says John Linscheid, parent of a Seattle high school senior.
"It used to be all we had to worry about after football games was alcohol, now it's energy drinks," his wife Marci adds. "I don't think most parents know how dangerous those can be.
Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, and Full Throttle are among the fastest-growing type of soft drink in the United States. That's not to mention the little 5-Hour Energy shots.
Sales increased 17 percent last year to about $9 billion, according to Beverage Digest.
"In some ways it seems safer to have them drink alcohol at a party," says Guy Milbrandt. "Not that I'd let that happen in my house."
The parents I talked with are planning to circulate a story about Monster Energy drinks through email, as teens plan Halloween parties for this weekend and next week.
By LINDA THOMAS
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.