January 20, 2018

CSPI Finds More Deaths Caused by Energy Drinks

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has obtained documents from the FDA and has found 17 previously unreported deaths linked to energy drinks. Since 2004, 34 deaths have now been linked to those products. Of those, 22 are linked to 5-Hour Energy, 11 to Monster, and one to Rockstar.

In addition to those deaths, 56 previously undisclosed injuries were reported to the government through the FDA’s adverse event reporting system. Those injuries included high blood pressure, convulsions, and heart attacks.

Dr. Stacy Fisher, director of complex heart diseases at University of Maryland School of Medicine told CSPI, “as I see in my medical practice, energy drinks are clearly causing symptomatic arrhythmias. These new reports of deaths and other injuries raise the level of concern about the adverse effects of energy drinks.”

CSPI has asked Margaret Hamburg, FDA commissioner, to require warning labels on energy drink containers. The group also requested that manufacturers be forced to lower caffeine levels in the drinks to 0.02 percent, or 71 milligrams per 12 ounces. That is the maximum amount that the government considers safe in cola beverages. CSPI also asked the agency to require studies on the effects of chemical and herbal combinations in those beverages. They include taurine, glucuronolactone, carnitine, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, milk thistle extract, and guarana seed.

CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a statement, “how many deaths will it take to get the FDA to protect consumers from energy drinks, with their high levels of caffeine and untested herbal and chemical ingredients Since the first batch of adverse event reports became public the death count has essentially doubled, with dozens more injured. Yet the FDA is just standing by – no public warnings, no regulations, no testing required – nothing.”

 

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