Product News and Recalls

FDA links energy drink with 13 deaths

U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports have linked the highly caffeinated energy drink 5-Hour Energy with 13 deaths and more than 30 hospitalizations over the past four years, the New York Times reports.

Last month, FDA reports surfaced linking another energy drink, Monster Energy, with five deaths.

According to the story, the New York Times reviewed FDA reports revealing that 5-Hour Energy has been mentioned in about 90 filings with the agency since 2009. More than 30 of them involved serious or life-threatening injuries including heart attacks, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion.

The story notes that the FDA reports don’t conclusively show the drinks caused the hospitalizations or deaths.

But the energy drink market has come under increasing scrutiny by government officials. Some federal lawmakers are calling on the FDA to tighten its oversight of the manufacturers, which don’t have to disclose the caffeine levels in their drinks and can market them as either beverages or dietary supplements.

The New York State attorney general’s office is also investigating several of the manufacturers.

The report characterizes the number of FDA reports mentioning 5-Hour Energy as “particularly striking.” In 2010, for example, the agency received a total of 17 fatality reports mentioning a dietary supplement or a weight loss product — two categories encompassing more than 50,000 products.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that more than 13,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were associated with energy drinks alone.

See the story here: