Lawsuit over Monster Energy Marketing to Kids Filed by S.F. City Attorney

The City of San Francisco has filed a lawsuits against the makers of Monster energy drinks, alleging that the company is endangering youth by marketing the highly caffeinated energy drink to children despite the potential health risks of energy drinks.    

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced the Monster energy drink lawsuit on May 6, accusing the beverage maker of violating California law by marketing energy drinks to kids as young as 6 years-old, even though there is scientific evidence that Monster Energy drinks may cause heart problems, high blood pressure and seizures among children.

The complaint comes just days after Monster Beverage Corp. filed a lawsuit against the city and Herrera, attempting to stop the investigation by alleging that the company’s constitutional right to free speech was being violated and that the company was being unfairly targeted, since some of its products contain less caffeine than an equivalent size drink at Starbucks.

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However, as critics have pointed out, Starbucks does not target children with its advertising.

“Monster Energy is unique among energy drink makers for the extent to which it targets children and youth in its marketing, despite the known risks its products pose to young people’s health and safety,” Herrera said in a press release. “Consumption of highly caffeinated energy drinks by children has been widely condemned by pediatricians and scientists, and the NCAA has banned its member institutions from providing these products even to college athletes because of the grave safety risks.”

Energy drinks have come under close scrutiny following the death of a 14-year-old girl whose parents filed a lawsuit against Monster, indicating that the girl drank two 24-ounce cans of the energy drink before she died.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has warned that children should not consumer any energy drinks, as the risk of caffeine overdose may be especially harmful for children, who should not consumer more than 100 mg of caffeine in a day. Most energy drinks currently on the market contain more than that amount and some have nearly three times as much.

The FDA is currently investigating health concerns after numerous adverse event reports have been received in recent years that indicate the energy drinks have caused severe injuries and even death.


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