Monster Energy Drink Subject of Government Investigation

  • Written by: Martha Garcia

The makers of the popular Monster Energy Drink face a state attorney general investigation, as safety concerns continue to increase involving the highly caffeinated beverages, which are heavily marketed towards teens and young adults.

In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Monster Beverage Corporation disclosed last week that they have received a subpoena from an unidentified state attorney general, which is investigating the company’s “advertising, marketing, promotion, ingredients, usage and sale” of Monster Energy Drinks.

Few details were provided about the basis for the investigation or the potential allegations, but the disclosure comes amid growing concerns about potential health problems from Monster Energy Drinks and other similar products, as well as the marketing practices surrounding the drinks.

In the filing, the company also provided an update on a Monster Energy Drink class action lawsuit that is pending in Canada, claiming that the manufacturer misleadingly packaged and sold the product without providing adequate statements about the contra-indications or potential risks associated with consuming energy drinks. Monster Beverage Corp. has indicated that they do not believe the claim has merit, and that they plan to vigorously defend the lawsuit.

Monster Energy Drink Health Problems and Concerns

Monster Energy is one of several popular brands of energy drinks marketed in the United States, with similar products sold under the brand names Red Bull, Rockstar and others. The drinks contain high levels of caffeine and other additives, which are designed to act as stimulants and provide an energy boost.

However, as the popularity of the drinks has increased, concerns have surfaced about the health risks associated with energy drinks and the warnings provided to consumers about the levels of caffeine contained in each drink.

The products are often sold next to or near regular sodas. However, while each soda typically contains about 35 milligrams of caffeine, many energy drinks contain up to 400 milligrams of caffeine in each can.

According to 2008 report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, labels of energy drinks should contain warnings about the amount of caffeine and the potentially harmful side effects they could cause.

In a study published earlier this year in the The Medical Journal of Australia, researchers found several concerning symptoms associated with energy drink ingestion, including palpitations, tremors, signs of serious cardiac or neurological toxicity, hallucinations and seizures.

Monster Beverage Corp. noted in the SEC filing that they could not predict the outcome of the state attorney general investigation or if they would eventually be, “subject to fines, product reformulations, container changes, changes in the usage or sale of our energy drink products and/or changes in our advertising, marketing and promotion practices, each of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.”

According to Beverage Digest, sales growth for the big-three carbonated soda companies, Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, were down last year while the “energy drink companies–Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar — each posted double-digit volume growth and gained shared.” Monster Corporation alone reported a 30% increase in income in just the last quarter in the same filing which announced the investigation.

Photo Courtesy of stevendepolo via Flickr/Creative Commons

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  1. CH Reply

    This is really upseting to me..My Son has had occasional nose bleeds and has complained of losing his breath and not being to sleep has been a problem. What people will do to gain riches is very sad…I want answers as to why they can get away with this and our youth being the Guinea Pigs.

  2. MDA Reply

    For the post above about our kids being test subjects so someone else can gain riches….here is a simple solution…..STOP letting him have the drinks!!! Take responsibly for you and your child’s actions and stop blaming others. Monster is a business like any other. They are making a product but are they forcing anyone to buy it…! Just like cigarettes, kids get them and smoke and the responsibility for that falls on the parent not the cigarette companies.
    That’s the biggest issue with people these days… is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. Take ownership and be a parent.
    If your son is over 18 then he should take the responsibility know to stop drinking them if he is having issues.

  3. CMS Reply

    Ya know, it is hard to regulate what your kids are drinking when there is a Monster vending machine in the High School they attend!! I believe that anyone who wants to purchase Monster, Red Bull, and other energy drinks should be 18 or older. We have to do something about this! I know of two teenagers that have been hospitalized due to these drinks! One of the boys had only one can, and was in the hospital with heart palpitations. This stuff is very dangerous for teens, whether parents want to believe it or not. I know of a few parents who purchase Monster for their kids!!
    I have seen an 8 year old purchase 3 cans of Monster at a local grocery store in my town!! 3 cans!! That is a ridiculous amount for anyone of any age, but an 8 year old!! I was behind him in line, and he stood right there and told the cashier that he was going to the park, and planned to consume all 3 himself!! It is scary to think about what could have happened to him, and I definately do not want my children drinking this product. I do NOT buy it for my kids, nor do I allow them to purchase it. That is, when I am with them, I cannot stop my son from purchasing the drink while he is at school. I honestly didn’t think that I would have to worry about that situation. This should NOT be available from a vending machine in a school!! They want to make lunches healthy, they want the kids to drink more water, yet, they have a Monster vending machine in the school!! Am I the only person who thinks that this is ludicrous!?!?!

  4. Grave Reply

    It says right on the can not intended for children it the school fault for having the machines in the school which I do not believe that a school is selling energy drinks.

  5. Michael Reply

    I am baffled at all of this! I guess you can never be safe anymore with US consumer products. Especially the ones like this that brag about giving added energy and will help you through your day. Then BAM you find out the stuff is slowly killing you. FIGURES AMERICA!! So what else is new then some attorney group comes along and sues for compensation. DOESN’T FIX ANYTHING HOWEVER! Maybe the end user of this crap will get $25 for using the product under bad information. NOT KNOWING IS WORTH A HELLUVA LOT MORE THAN $25

  6. Bryan Reply

    I drank 2 big cans of monster and trying to go to sleep but my heart beat is to fast and won’t let me sleep I feel terrible. I’m dizzy, feel like throwing up. What can I do.

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