One 16 ounce Monster can contains 160 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, the average 12 ounce Starbucks coffee contains 143 milligrams. (Photo courtesy of Toban Black on Flickr under CC license)
One 16 ounce Monster can contains 160 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, the average 12 ounce Starbucks coffee contains 143 milligrams. (Photo courtesy of Toban Black on Flickr under CC license)

By JASON SINGER, Guest Writer

Monster Beverage Corp. has quite the public relations nightmare on their hands. Is it possible consuming that uranium green energy drink could kill you? Anais Fournier’s family argues it can.

Anais Fournier, a 14 year old girl from Hagerstown, Maryland, died of heart arrhythmia; a sporadic beating of the heart which causes it to fail. Apparently, she consumed a 24 ounce Monster while at the mall with her friends. The next day, she consumed another one. That evening Anais Fournier passed away.

Heart arrhythmia in an otherwise healthy teenage girl is almost unheard of unless there are preexisting genetic deficiencies inherited from one or more parents. Toxicology reports suggest it was caused by toxic levels of caffeine in Anais’s bloodstream, levels that would be the equivalent to the amount found in two Monster Energy drinks.

This racks up the Monster-related death toll to five people in the past three years. “The reports, like similar filings with the F.D.A. in cases involving drugs or medical devices, do not prove a link between Monster Energy and the deaths or other health problems,” reports Barry Meier of the New York Times.

So how much caffeine is in Monster? One 16 ounce can contains 160 milligrams of caffeine. The average 12 ounce Starbucks coffee contains 143 milligrams. That doesn’t sound alarmingly high in comparison. So far, no lawsuits have been held against Starbucks for any Mocha Frappuccino-related deaths.

Though the link between consumption of Monster and deaths caused by heart arrhythmia may be difficult-possibly impossible-to prove, Monster Energy Corp is already feeling the heat regardless. On Monday, Monster’s stock dropped 14% on Monday leaving owners in the company worried about the future of their bank accounts.

Monster said in a statement: “Neither the science nor the facts support the allegations that have been made. Monster reiterates that its products are and have always been safe.” These incidents of heart arrhythmia coinciding with large intakes of caffeine raise questions about FDA policies and if companies should be forced to disclose how much caffeine they put in their drinks.

It also calls into question a matter of parenting. Time will only tell if more teens fall prey to an early death because they overdosed with too much caffeine.

In an uncertain future one constant remains true: Monster is facing a rocky road ahead for its business and reputation and kids across the nation and around the world are going to continue to utilize their access to the caffeine boogeyman.