Monster is facing a number of challenges

Monster is facing a number of challenges

Monster Beverage Corp is facing a potential crisis after filings released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cited its energy drinks in the deaths of five people in the country since 2007.

An FDA spokesperson told just-drinks today (23 October) that the reports show five deaths that have been "associated" with Monster products, but that there was "no causal link" between the fatalities and the drinks. The FDA filings came to light after reports last week that the mother of a 14 year-old girl, Anais Fournier, is suing the company over her daughter's death from caffeine toxicity last year. 

Monster has yet to respond to just-drinks' request for comment. However, in other reports, the company has said it does not believe it is in any way responsible for the girl's death and intends to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit. It also said it is "unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks".

Monster is also currently being investigated by New York's attorney general over the marketing and ingredients of its energy drinks

The FDA is also facing pressure from two Illinois senators to investigate the effects of caffeine levels in energy drinks and their impact on young people. The FDA is updating its guidance on the regulations around dietary supplements and conventional foods. 

The FDA spokesperson said: "We are looking at the emerging science around caffeine prodcuts."

Monster has been the subject of speculation this year around a possible buy-out by the Coca-Cola Co. But, an analyst last month suggested the regulatory concerns could have scared off the soft drinks giant.

In August, it reported a surge in first-half earnings, with net profits up 33.5% to US$185.9m.

Shares in Monster are down nearly 6% today at US$43 and fell by around 14% yesterday after the FDA filings were first reported.