Friday, November 23, 2012

FDA: 5 Hour Energy Drink Linked to Multiple Deaths

Following news reports about the alleged link between Monster Energy drink and five deaths last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now investigating the 5-Hour Energy drink after receiving claims that the highly caffeinated drink may have led to 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations over the past four years.

Incidentally, 5-Hour Energy, which comes in 2 ounce packages and contains a powerful caffeine punch which can be an equivalent of two cups of coffee, is manufactured and distributed by the Michigan-based manufacturer, Living Essentials.

According to the USC Director of Toxicology, Dr. Sean Patrick Nord, if someone consumes multiple packages of the said energy drink, it is when the side effects begin to take place. In fact, one can consume huge quantity of caffeine that can be equivalent to 30 to 40 cups of coffee by consuming multiple cans of it.

Based on Consumer Reports, the caffeine concentration of the 2 ounce shot of 5-Hour Energy is 215 milligrams, which is far higher than the FDA’s legal limits. Under the FDA protocol, any soda drink must only contain 72 milligrams of caffeine per 2 ounce. 

Meanwhile, the manufacturer strongly affirmed that these are just product liability claims and there are no proven links yet between the energy drink and the deaths. In addition, its founder and CEO, Manoj Bhargava, told some media sources that the 5-Hour Energy is intended only for busy adults. He added that it doesn’t do any harm if and only it was consumed as directed.

Consequently, critics highlighted their concerns about children with underlying heart problems who drink energy beverages since they are more dangerous than coffee due to temperature.

On the other hand, a Los Angeles injury attorney here claims that although there is no proven link yet between the reported deaths and the highly caffeinated drinks, consumers should nevertheless start taking precautions at this early point of time before anything bad happens.