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Monster Energy Drinks Safety Designation Easily Obtained

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Washington, DCThere is little doubt that Monster Energy Corporation does not view its products in the same light as health critics and plaintiffs who claim Monster drink contents are harmful. And yet a trend appears to be emerging that sees Monster, at the eleventh hour, stepping in to settle a Monster drink lawsuit before it even starts.

One could speculate as to why Monster appears to prefer the settlement route. Settlements can curb an otherwise costly and drawn-out litigation process. Defendants will also settle out of fear that a court award could be prohibitively high, or as a means to prevent damning details and allegations about a product from coming under a spotlight.

Nonetheless, Monster Energy Corp. continues to settle Monster Energy Drink Deaths and Hospitalizations lawsuits before they go to trial, including that of a 14-year-old teen who went into cardiac arrest and died after drinking two Monster Energy drinks over two successive days.

It should be noted that Monster drink contents, and the Monster caffeine levels that appear to lay at the root of all the trouble, are not regulated as a food by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rather, energy drinks are classified as a dietary supplement and thus, are not subject to the same kind of regulatory scrutiny required of other foods and beverages.

LawyersandSettlements (LAS) writer Brenda Craig reminds us that Monster Energy drinks carry a GRAS designation that serves as an acronym for “Generally Recognized as Safe.” The GRAS designation is found within the FDA regulatory framework and is a designation granted by the FDA.

However, critics note that the GRAS designation is not a tough “get.” A manufacturer need only hire a third party to conduct independent tests of the product. The manufacturer can hire who they want - including an entity that potentially might be “friendly” to the manufacturer, although independence is indeed important. The third party, following testing, provides an opinion that, according to its data, the product is thought to be safe. There is no requirement to reveal the data. Provided a third party based on its testing interprets a product as safe, a GRAS designation can be issued.

Critics have long called for energy drinks to be moved, along with the dietary supplement group, to the food group as recognized by the FDA, where energy drinks would require more rigorous testing prior to approval and more rigorous compliance after the fact.

An attorney with the R. Rex Parris Law Firm, which represented the family of the 14-year-old girl who died allegedly due to consuming Monster drink contents, feels that Monster Energy Corp. needs to undertake more substantial research to back up its claims that Monster caffeine levels are safe. Trial lawyer Bruce Schechter, who helped attain what were described as “substantial dollars” for the family of the 14-year-old who died, noted in comments to LAS writer Brenda Craig that “It is not the individual ingredients, it is the synergistic effect of [various] ingredients that, when put together, are deadly.” Energy drinks contain more caffeine than colas, but also other ingredients that can mimic caffeine. The combination can be dangerous for some.

Meanwhile, plaintiffs continue to file lawsuits alleging Monster energy drink contents are not safe, in spite of the GRAS designation.


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I am very health conscious and am happy to see you cover Monster Energy as I purchase them on a regular occassion. Thank you for posting about it!


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