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Posts Tagged ‘Monster Energy Drink’

Energy Drink Makers Shift Their Damage Control Strategies

The makers of extra-caffeinated sugar water products like Monster, Rock Star and 5-Hour Energy are having a tough time. After being tied to several deaths and suffering through a few rounds of terrible PR, they’ve decided to shift their strategies by dropping the “dietary supplements” tag and referring to their products by their proper name: beverages. Our question: how did they get away with that for so long?

In calling their products what they so obviously are, the makers of these drinks are also subjecting themselves to new regulations–and avoiding others. They now have to list exactly how much caffeine each can contains, but their spokespeople no longer have to let the FDA know when someone draws a link between the “beverages” and their adverse health effects.

Of course, nothing about the contents of these cans will change. Isn’t it strange how a little bit of labeling can do so much?

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Bad PR: FDA Cites 5-Hour Energy in 13 Deaths

5-Hour EnergyIt’s tough to peddle caffeine these days unless you brew coffee, isn’t it? This week brought controversy over “Jack’d Cracker Jacks” while last month saw the FDA issue a report tying Monster Energy Drink to at least five deaths around the country. N0w we hear of yet another report linking the popular 5-Hour Energy drink to even more fatalities.

The 13 deaths cited in this story easily top the five blamed on Monster, and the details are even more troubling: the popular wake-up shot with the awful commercials was mentioned in approximately 90 filings since 2009 and linked to everything from heart attacks and tremors to “a spontaneous abortion”. We’ll bet everyone at distributor Living Essentials and its parent company Innovation Ventures just loves that phrase.

As expected, the FDA tempered its reports with conditional statements–and a Living Essentials rep defended the company by claiming to be “unaware of any deaths proven to be caused by the consumption of 5-Hour Energy.” The fact that regulatory authorities classify the product as a “dietary supplement” further complicates the issue.

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