Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST), a widely consumed energy drink made by Monster beverages, may have been the cause of five deaths, according to a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The energy drink contains high levels of caffeine and is consumed by people of all ages.
The report, it must be stressed, does not prove a link between Monster Energy and the deaths or health problems.
The records from the FDA was obtained by the mother of a 14-year old girl who died in December due to heart arrhythmia after drinking large cans of Monster Energy on two consecutive days.
According to a news report in the New York Times, the mother of the girl, Wendy Crosland, had filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverages, alleging that the company had failed to put out adequate warnings about the risk of consuming energy drinks.
It quoted a company spokeswoman as saying that its products were safe and not the cause of the teenager's death.
That spokeswoman, Judy Lin Sfetcu, said that Monster was “unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks.”
In an interview to the paper FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said that they had received reports of five deaths possibly linked to the drink as well as another report of a heart attack. The reports cover a period of 2004 to June of this year.
However it was not clear whether the deaths were directly as a result of consuming the energy drinks or whether other factors such as alcohol or drugs were involved.
The recent findings are expected to increase the clamour for greater regulations of the energy drinks industry, in which beverage makers push their products especially among the youth.
Shares of the company tumbled 14.23% to $45.73 in Monday’s session.