With names like Monster Assault and Monster Heavy Metal, the Monster Beverage company, a purveyor of icky energy drinks, isn’t exactly advertising itself as healthy or safe. But one hopes that drinking one can of a commonly-available, non-regulated, non-alcoholic beverage on two consecutive days wouldn’t KILL you. But fourteen year old Anais Fournier did just that, and then died of “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity” the next day. Which is terrifying.
In December, Fournier, a resident of Hagerstown, drank two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy over two days, consuming about 240 milligrams of caffeine in the process. The teenager had an underlying heart condition, but her doctors hadn’t told her to limit her caffeine intake — and, according to the lawsuit that Fournier’s mother filed this week, the readily available drinks pushed her over the edge.
The amount of caffeine in these drinks is high, but not insane. Consider that a tall iced coffee from Starbucks has about 120 milligrams of caffeine; a grande latte has 150. But people arguing in favor of regulating the drinks say that people are less aware of their dangers. After all, everyone knows that coffee has caffeine in it — but our understanding of just what goes in a Monster drink is more muddled. (Not to mention how the manufacturers claim that one can is three servings, which makes the math even more confusing.) According to the New York Times, five deaths over the past three years have been linked to Monster Energy beverages, which is certainly worrying. Fournier’s mother’s lawsuit accuses Monster of not properly warning consumers about the risks of its products, which are aggressively marketed to teenagers.
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