The Day in Pictures FDA probes reports of deaths linked to energy drinks

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack, according to reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating.

The reports claim that people had adverse reactions after they consumed Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, or seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce cola.

Although the FDA is investigating the allegations, which date back to 2004, the agency said the reports don’t necessarily prove that the drinks caused the deaths or injuries.

“As with any reports of a death or injury the agency receives, we take them very seriously and investigate diligently,” Shelly Burgess, a FDA spokeswoman, said in a statement.

News of the FDA’s investigation follows a filing last week of a wrongful death suit in Riverside, Calif., by the parents of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours. An autopsy concluded that she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity and the medical examiner also found that she had an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels. But the child’s parents claim Monster failed to warn about the risks of drinking its products.

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