Pressure is mounting on the manufacturers of "energy drinks" to stop targeting our children with marketing messages promoting these highly caffeinated, potentially dangerous, drinks. Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that last month, the New York state attorney general and the San Francisco city attorney joined forced to investigate whether Monster Beverage Corp. is continuing to market its drinks to children.
The San Francisco city attorney has been investigating Monster since 2012. It was around that time that reports began to surface linking "energy drinks" with sudden cardiac arrests and other adverse reactions, some of which required emergency room treatment. Soon thereafter, product liability lawyers began to file the first lawsuits claiming that energy drinks were dangerous and where causing injuries, including death.
Monster continues to deny that its energy drinks are unsafe, which comes as no surprise since it reports that it has sold over 10 billion drinks in the past decade. However, reports of adverse events related to energy drinks have been mounting, and in May of 2013, the FDA announced that it is opening an investigation into the safety of caffeine in food products in general. This announcement comes in response to a growing trend by manufacturers to add caffeine to products such as gum, jelly beans, sunflower seeds, and other snacks, said Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the FDA. Most of these products are readily accessible to children and, unlike a hot cup of coffee that cannot be quickly consumed, a child could put an entire pack of gum in his mouth in a brief period of time. Without solid research as to the potential health consequences of these increased levels of caffeine in children, manufactures of these potentially dangerous products should be prohibited from marketing them to anyone, let alone our children.