FDA probes reported deaths with Monster drink link - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FDA probes reported deaths with Monster drink link

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By DAVID DISHNEAU and MATTHEW PERRONE | AP

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating reports of five deaths and a non-fatal heart attack linked to highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drinks.

The agency acknowledged the adverse reports Monday, but FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said the reports don't prove that the drinks caused the deaths.

The news follows last week's filing in California of a wrongful death suit by the parents of a 14-year-old, Hagerstown, Md., girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Beverage Corp. drinks in 24 hours.

An autopsy concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. She had an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels.

Monster said it doesn't believe its products caused any deaths.

Shares of the Corona, Calif.-based company plunged $7.20, or 13.5 percent, to $46.12 in trading Monday.

UPDATE: Monster Beverage Corp. issued a statement saying it is saddened by the death of the Maryland teen but that the company "is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks." The company said it does not comment about litigation but pointed out that "Many tens of billions of cans of energy drinks have been sold and safely consumed throughout the world for approximately 25 years, including more than 8 billion cans of Monster Energy that have been sold and safely consumed in the United States and around the world since 2002."

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