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Energy Drink Ban Coming?

An age requirement on buying energy drinks

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Maryland is trying to be the first state to ban energy drinks or place an age requirement of 18 years old to buy them. This all started with a 14 year-old girl, Anais Fournier from Hagerstown, who died in December 2011 when she drank two 24-ounce Monster Energy brand beverages in one day. Anais’s parents and their attorney Kevin Goldberg have an ongoing lawsuit against the drink company and are now trying to pass a bill to make Maryland ban the sale of energy drinks to minors.

It was reported that Anais died from a cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. She also had a pre-existing heart condition for which she saw a cardiologist once a year, but she was never told to avoid caffeine.

Monster Beverage released a statement that said, “There is no medical, scientific, or factual evidence” against their company. The coroner’s report could not be supported. The company denied the accusation that Anais died from consuming their drinks. Monster has repeatedly said they are confident their energy drinks are safe.

The family disagrees and Goldberg says he worries that children are “subjected to the marketing of the energy drink companies and keep drinking them into adulthood.”

He believes the beverages are “extremely dangerous for anyone with an underlying heart condition,” and says those types of medical issues are often undiagnosed until adulthood. That’s why he drafted House Bill 1273 and asked Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-Montgomery County) to sponsor it.

Goldberg says there is a lot of support from medical examiners and lawmakers but that the bill is facing some challenges from different companies including the American Beverage Association. “Our company respected the chance to help educate policymakers and the facts that energy drinks,” says Ellen Valentino, the Maryland representative for the ABA who was present at the hearing.

It turns out that some energy drinks have as little as half of the caffeine of a normal cup of coffee.

A Starbucks Grande coffee has 330 mg of caffeine, while a 16 ounce monster has about 160 mg. In addition, a 12-ounce soda like Coca-Cola only has 34 mg, which is significantly lower than a Monster.

Despite these facts, Goldberg says that Monster targets children even though it says it is not recommended for children, pregnant women or people that are sensitive to caffeine. Its advertising usually targets people from 18 to 34 years old.

Goldberg does not know how the case will do but it is very close to his heart because of his two young daughters, the Fournier family, and two other clients his firm is representing in wrongful death cases against Monster. He also says this is something he cares very deeply about.

Although Maryland would be the first one to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors if this is passed, a Los Angeles City Council member filed a similar case this past January.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Energy Drink Ban Coming?”

  1. Erick Isaias Maldonado on February 4th, 2015 12:03 pm

    she knew that monster is bad because the truth donot take 2 not blame him no monsters wing company that maybe or it because nobody warned her. but that law does want to put the state of Maryland is a good idea.
    I don’t think it was important and also and hers parents did’t know that.

    [Reply]

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Energy Drink Ban Coming?