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Oct 25, 2012

Monster energy drinks hysteria debunked

The background hysteria from the food fascists, over caffeinated energy drinks, which has been simmering quietly for some time has hit a fever pitch over the death of a fourteen year old girl with a heart condition who consumed two of them in the US.  The death has gained prominence owing to the lawsuit from her parents against the manufacturer, Monster Energy.
The ABC has weighed in here with a report including a number of ‘authorities’ expressing various concerns over possible dangers etc.  In it’s related stories recommendations was one on calls for ‘poison warning’ labels on energy drinks.
Warning labels on food products has always been a favorite rousing refrain from the Cloud Cuckooland Chorus but it is difficult to think of a sillier idea, although a quick read of political news will probably provide us with something.  The dangers posed by cheapening the effectiveness of warning labels on real poisons would vastly outweigh any beneficial effects from such a move; like a reduction of dangerous hypertensive tendencies, and stress levels among busybodies and neurotics.
The second report states in part:
Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows 65 people called the New South Wales Poisons Centre with problems caused by energy drinks in 2010, up from 12 people in 2004.  The average caller was 17 years old, and in some cases callers reported hallucinations, seizures and heart problems. 
The study found symptoms were most frequently reported when energy drinks were being used for recreational use by teenagers and young adults. Co-ingestants included alcohol, caffeine tablets and illicit substances.
Radley Balco over at the Agitator points out some of the silliness of the current rantings, including: 
... Note too the bullshit use of the “emergency room visits” statistic. Remember, this does not mean that the drink caused any of those emergency room visits. It means that x number of people, when asked by an emergency room doctor what they had consumed in the last 24 hours, mentioned that they had drank a Monster. 
For example, if you’re in the ER because you got kicked in the face while attempting to make love to an elephant, but tell the doctor that you had consumed a Monster the night before you were overwhelmed with proboscidean lust, that would be considered an energy drink-related emergency room visit.  Any drug or food product that becomes popular over a short period of time will see a sharp rise in “x-related emergency room visits,” simply because a higher percentage of the population is using the product. …

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