The Food and Drug Administration has received claims that the popular energy beverage, 5-Hour energy has been linked to 33 illnesses requiring hospitalization and 13 deaths in the past 4 years and now the federal government and the New York Attorney General’s Office are launching an official investigation.
The 2oz energy drink has been a regular on gas station and drug store counters for the past 8 years and is supposed to be the equivalent of drinking two cups of coffee but officials fear that it may do more than just give the user a boost of energy.
Director of the Section of Toxicology at USC, Dr. Sean Patrick, spoke with ABC News saying: “If someone is to use multiple cans, now is when we start to see some of the side effects. You’re getting astronomical amounts, 30-40 cups of coffee.”
The latest investigation comes just weeks after claims arose that blamed Monster energy drinks, which contain even larger quantities of caffeine, for 5 deaths including that of a young teenage girl.
Drink manufacturers are quick to point out that there is no proof linking their drinks to these deaths. 5-hour energy issued an emergency statement last night saying that their beverage is “intended for busy adults,” and that it contains “about as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee.”
Company CEO, Manoj Bhargave, told ABC News back in September that as long as the products are used as directed they are completely harmless: “It’s overblown. When it’s in small quantities…It’s like this – – water is goof, but if you have too much you drown.”
According to leading authorities it would be nearly impossible to consume enough of these products for them to be fatal, about 50-60 of them, but they are concerned about those with underlying health issues like heart problems.