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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 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 Hagerstown girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours.
An autopsy found that Anais Fournier died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity that impeded her heart's ability to pump blood. She suffered from 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.
Monster Beverage Corp., which touts on its web site that the Monster Energy Drink is a "killer energy brew" and "the meanest energy supplement on the planet," puts labels on cans that state that the drinks are not recommended for children and people who are sensitive to caffeine. The company, based in Corona, Calif., did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment on Monday, but said last week that it is "unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks."
Monster is among a growing group of energy drinks on the market. Energy drinks are a tiny part of the carbonated soft drink market, representing about 3 percent of sales volume, according to a recent report by industry tracker Beverage Digest. But at a time when soda consumption is declining, energy drinks are becoming more popular: Last year, sales volume for energy drinks rose by nearly 17 percent.
Monster has benefited the most from the rise in popularity. Last year, Monster had a 35 percent share of the energy-drink market based on volume, while Red Bull had 30 percent and Rockstar had 19 percent, according to Beverage Digest. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are far smaller players in the arena, with about 5 percent each.
Investors have warmed up to the drinks as well. In the past two years, Monster's shares have more than tripled, from about $22 and hit a high of about $79 in June. But on news of the FDA investigation, Monster's shares plunged $7.59, or 14.2 percent, to close at $45.73 in trading on Monday.
The increase in popularity has brought heightened scrutiny. The levels of caffeine in the drinks have raised worries: Although the FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda to 0.02 percent, there is no such limit for energy drinks.
In August, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to energy drink makers, including Monster, as part of the state's investigation of the industry. And in September, Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked the FDA to take another look at the effect that caffeine and other ingredients in energy drinks have on children and adolescents.
Wednesday, October 24 2012, 03:46 AM CDT
TBI: Women more likely family violence victims
June 20, 2013 08:10 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new study of domestic violence in Tennessee last year found women were nearly two times more likely to be victimized than men and children were the victims in 16 percent of all family violence cases.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation put out a report this week analyzing crime statistics from law enforcement agencies across the state. Their findings show that nearly 15 percent of all crimes reported were domestic in nature.
The study looked at the relationships between victims and offenders as well as the influence of drugs and alcohol on family violence. The study found that more than 17 percent of family violence involves drugs or alcohol, with alcohol being the most common.
Major business events and economic events scheduled for Thursday:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A couple of private reports headline the day's economic data.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: MICROSOFT-XBOX ONE CHANGES
NEW YORK (AP) -- Xbox One isn't out yet, but Microsoft is already making changes.