Monster changing label to qualify as traditional 'drink' rather than 'dietary supplement'

Reports are indicating that Monster Beverage Corp. is making changes that will allow its Monster labels to qualify as "drinks" as opposed to "supplements" under federal guidelines for food products.

According to reports, the Monster Beverage Corp. will begin labeling its Monster drinks under federal guidelines for food products rather than those for dietary supplements. As a beverage rather than dietary supplement, Monster drinks will list “nutrition facts” rather than “supplement facts,” and will include caffeine content of the drinks.

As reported recently by Food Product Design, Monster Beverage Corp. has denied that its product caused the death of a 14-year-old girl, claiming that the cardiac arrest she suffered was due to a pre-existing medical condition, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

"To date, more than 8 billion cans of Monster energy drinks have been sold worldwide, and this is the only case of its kind," Monster stated in court papers, FPD reported.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders marked by extremely loose joints, hyperelastic skin that bruises easily, and easily damaged blood vessels. … A variety of gene mutations (changes) cause problems with collagen, the material that provides strength and structure to skin, bone, blood vessels, and internal organs. The abnormal collagen leads to the symptoms associated with EDS. In some forms of the condition this can include rupture of internal organs or abnormal heart valves. … Those with the rare vascular type of EDS are at significantly increased risk for rupture of a major organ or blood vessel. These individuals, therefore, have a high risk of sudden death.”

While medical examiner Ann Rubio did conclude that the teen "died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity complicating mitral value regurgitation in the setting of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome," Rubio also indicated that she did not perform a blood test that would have determined the caffeine in her system, nor was a “meaningful toxicologic” exam done by the coroners, the autopsy report indicates, FPD reported.

Current speculation alleges that the change of the Monster labeling from a dietary supplement to a traditional drink is in response to intensifying scrutiny placed on energy drinks and questions being raised regarding their safety. It has not been confirmed, however, whether or not the labeling change will result in any ingredients being removed from Monster beverages, the Huffington Post reported.

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