No study has proven that energy drinks directly caused these deaths,
but 34 people died in the United States in the last decade after
drinking 5-Hour Energy, Monster or Rockstar beverages, according to
the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
More than 50 people also were hospitalized for high blood pressure,
convulsions and heart attacks after consuming energy drinks. The
drinks, which are especially popular with teens, typically contain
guarana, taurine and caffeine.
“I don’t think anybody knows what (these chemicals in energy drinks)
do," said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, which
calculated the numbers using data it obtained from the FDA. "It’s
not clear what their risks are."
The FDA said it has been studying the drinks for several years and
is evaluating the deaths. "This does not necessarily mean that the
energy drink caused the death," an FDA spokesperson said.
"Frequently there are other complicating factors, such as existing
disease or medications the person may have been taking."
Spokespeople for Monster Beverage Corp, Rockstar Energy Drink and
5-Hour Energy were not immediately available for comment.
“Energy drinks are safe. They meet all the standards required by the
federal regulators," said Christopher Gindlesperger, a spokesman for
the American Beverage Association.
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CSPI also asked the FDA to lower the legally allotted amount of
caffeine in energy drinks to 71 milligrams per 12 ounces -- the
amount permissible in colas.
In 2005, the group urged the FDA to introduce labels to sugar-rich
drinks warning consumers of obesity. Two years prior, CSPI succeeded
in a 10-year campaign to list data on trans fats on all Nutrition
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Jilian Mincer and Leslie
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