Eleven people have been indicted for selling fake 5-Hour Energy, according to The Associated Press.
Between 2009 and 2012, the defendants from California and Mexico created counterfeit 5-Hour Energy to be sent to Mexico. The fake drinks were siphoned into real bottles of 5-Hour Energy and may have contaminated the real energy shots sold in the United States, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for Northern California. The counterfeits were removed from stores in 2012.
A spokesman for 5-Hour Energy told The Associated Press that the energy drinks are purchased by nine million people every week, with sales of $1 billion a year.
In 2012, we reported that 5-Hour Energy was linked to more than 13 deaths from 2008 to 2012. The FDA noted that some consumers had “serious side effects,” like heart attacks and convulsions. These deaths are not related to the fake drinks, according to a press release that was sent out by 5-Hour Energy’s distributor, Living Essentials, LLC. The press release addressed the counterfeit energy shots, stating, “No serious adverse events have been reported to date related to the identified counterfeit 5-Hour Energy products.”
The fake 5-Hour Energy shots were produced in Regular Orange, Regular Berry, and Extra Strength Berry flavors.