Living Essentials, producer of 5-hour Energy, has taken legal action to shut down a factory making a counterfeit version of its energy shot product. 

The company said yesterday (19 November) it has filed suits at federal courts in California and New York to halt the operation. It has also received court orders allowing it to seize “large quantities” of fake products from “numerous locations” and the counterfeiters' machinery, the group said. 

No serious adverse events have yet been reported in relation to the counterfeit products, Living Essentials said. Under US Food and Drug Administration rules, companies have a legal obligation to report details of an "adverse event" in relation to its products within 15 days of receiving a complaint. 

"We are extremely upset that a group of alleged criminals preyed upon and profited from the loyal, hardworking customers who have come to rely on us to provide them with a high-quality product and the world's leading energy shot," said Scott Henderson, 5-hour Energy's president. 

Living Essentials was last week forced to defend 5-hour Energy after the FDA released adverse event records showing that the product had been cited in relation to 13 deaths in the last three years. However, the FDA has stressed that an adverse event report “does not necessarily mean that the product identified” caused the outcome.

Living Essentials said it is “unaware of any deaths proven to have been caused by the consumption of 5-hour Energy” and that the product contains as much caffeine as a cup of “leading premium coffee”.