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Monster Energy CEO Rodney Sacks has spent the last few days telling Wall Street that, contrary to media reports and an FDA investigation, there is no science to link 18 deaths to energy drinks sold by him and rival 5-Hour Energy.Monster’s corporate image has taken a beating over allegations that five deaths are linked to the brand.
Sacks says he’s being attacked with bogus information in just the same way Coca-Cola was attacked in the early 1900s for having caffeine in its formulation, he says. He told an investor conference — using “emotive” language, according to Food Navigator — this week:
Neither the science not the facts support the allegations that have been made regarding the safety of Monster Energy products.
… What is now happening is neither new nor unique. Wiley spent a decade crusading against Coca-Cola, attacking them on every conceivable front … There are many similarities … to the current attacks on energy rinks, which are as flawed as Wiley’s were a century ago.
Wiley is a reference to Harvey W. Wiley, who crusaded against Coke and was the first commissioner of the FDA. Coca-Cola did once contain cocaine in its formulation, but that drug was long-gone from the drink when Wiley was on his anti-caffeine crusade in the 1900s.
And on his Q3 conference call, He told analysts that the caffeine in Monster contains about half the caffeine found in a cup of coffee served at Starbucks. He added:
While of course we are saddened by the death of the 14 year old girl whose family brought the lawsuit against the company, the allegations in that lawsuit claiming to the contrary are false and totally baseless and are not supported by either the science or the facts. The autopsy report reveals that a caffeine blood level was not performed and that her death was natural and associated with a preexisting heart condition which by itself increased her risk of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death. We will defend vigorously the lawsuit.