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April 19, 2013 / Amanda Greenburg

Monster Is Now A ‘Beverage’

Monster Energy Drinks is now selling its popular energy drink as a “beverage.”  For the last decade, Monster sold its product as a “dietary supplement.”  While the ingredients and the packaging remain largely the same, this classification change has significant legal implications.

As a beverage maker, Monster will have to report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when they think a product can cause injury.   Monster will also be required to keep scientific data supporting the safety of any ingredients they use in their product unless the ingredient is already approved by the FDA.

As a dietary supplement manufacturer, Monster would have had to meet additional requirements regarding warnings, safety information and labeling.  Most importantly, Monster would have had to report any injuries and deaths to the FDA.

The classification change comes at suspicious time.  The FDA recently reported they have received five (5) adverse event reports of deaths linked to Monster energy drinks over the past three years. One was is a 14 year old girl.  On November 16, 2012, the FDA announced the launch of its investigation into energy drinks given the frequent deaths.

Energy drinks have come under severe scrutiny in the last year.   On November 1, 2012, the city attorney of San Francisco, California, Dennis J. Herrera, submitted a letter to Monster asking the company to substantiate its advertisements which claim daily consumptions of the product is safe for adolescents and adults.  On March 19, 2013, a group of 18 doctors, researchers and public health experts jointly urged the FDA to take action on energy drinks.  In their letter, they wrote that “there is evidence in the published scientific literature that the caffeine levels in energy drinks pose serious potential health risks.”  The letter urges the FDA to take prompt action to protect consumers, especially children, from the dangers of the highly caffeinated energy drinks.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from an energy drink, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a private consultation.


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