Energy drinks can kill [Letter]

March 05, 2014

Michelle Minton's commentary on Maryland's reasonable bill to stop stores from selling energy drinks to minors is misleading on a key point ("No one cards at Starbucks," Feb. 26).

She's simply wrong to claim that the Food and Drug Administration has given energy drinks a green light. In fact, the agency is investigating many serious injuries and nearly 30 deaths connected to the drinks by medical reports.

Maryland is responding with legislation because the safety of adolescents and teens is more important than profits for Monster Beverage Corp. and its ilk. Ms. Minton fails to mention that Anais Fournier, a Hagerstown 14-year-old, died in 2012 after drinking two 24-ounce energy drinks.

Fournier had a heart condition that the National Institutes of Health says that 10 percent of the population has. No one else, in Maryland or elsewhere, should die so needlessly from a drink that combines caffeine with dubious other stimulants.

Laura MacCleery, Washington, D.C.

The writer is chief regulatory affairs attorney at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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