Monster said the report does not factor in drug and alcohol use

Monster said the report does not factor in drug and alcohol use

Monster Beverage Corp has joined in industry criticism of a report linking energy drinks to hospital emergency visits, calling it “highly misleading”.

The report, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that in 2011 there were 20,783 reported emergency room visits in which an energy drink was cited as the primary cause of or a contributing factor to a health problem, compared with 10,068 in 2007.

But Monster said on Friday (18 January) that the report does not give enough information to support the view that energy drinks are unsafe. It comes after the American Beverage Association also questioned the report last week, saying it was unfair and inaccurate.

Monster said the report is flawed because it does not account for drugs and alcohol consumed by the patients.

The report “reflects no medical finding or diagnosis that consumption of energy drinks was, in fact, the reason for the patient's emergency room visit”, Monster said, adding that 42% of patients reported that they had used pharmaceuticals, alcohol or illegal drugs.

The report also did not take into account other sources of caffeine, such as coffee, Monster said.

The company last year was the target of legislative scrutiny over caffeine content in its drinks, including requests from two senators for the Food and Drug Administration to examine energy drink effects on young people. Last week, the senators, Richard Durbin and Richard Blumenthal, sent letters to 14 energy drink companies, including Monster, asking them questions over the safety of their products.