Los Angeles residents may soon have to show proof of age (18 and over), before slugging down their Monster drinks, if Los Angeles Council Member Bernard Parks' bill passes. The bill would put energy drinks behind the counter at all stores, just like cigarettes nationwide and spray paint cans in LA.
The bill joins a slew of other similar restrictive measures nationwide, like a bill passed on Long Island which heavily restricted the sale of energy drinks to kids and teens under age 19, according to CBS. And in Florida’s Manatee School District on the Western coast of Florida, energy drinks are banned entirely for kids and teens.
Why? The FDA reported five deaths between 2004 and 2012 of people who had drank Monster Energy Drink right before their deaths, as well as one non-fatal heart attack. In 2012, 14-year-old Anais Fournier’s family sued Monster Energy Drink, after the teen died of what CBS reported was cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity.
"Energy drinks, when substituted for eating lunch and dinner and not getting sleep can lead to health problems down the road," said Council Member Bernard Parks. "The dangers for young people are the over-concentration of caffeine and the negative impact of their young bodies."
Monster brand energy drinks in particular market to kids and teens, and have varying levels of caffeine from one can to the next said Council Member Parks. San Francisco is actually suing Monster for marketing to minors. The FDA has stated that it will be looking into foods and beverages containing caffeine, but that imposing a nationwide age restriction would be "challenging at best.”"