By Virginia Buchanan

November 7th, 2012  8:00am

Pressure to assure the safety of energy drinks for adolescents and teens continues to mount in light of reports of deaths to the FDA.  As concerns about the safety of caffeinated energy drinks grow, at least one major city has demanded proof of the drug maker’s statements about safety.

The City of San Francisco notified Monster Beverage this week about its concerns.  Monster, a publicly traded entity, was told via letter that it should provide substantiation of its slogan to Monster Energy consumers that they “can never get too much of a good thing.”

California’s laws prohibit false or misleading advertising claims, and the city is interested in making sure that energy drinks are safe, particularly with respect to the marketing to adolescents of the highly caffeinated drinks.

The drink maker has been able to avoid many of the otherwise applicable food and drug safety standards, as energy drinks are classified as “dietary supplements.”  As such, the company does not have to list the quantity of caffeine in its drinks.

The company says the product is labeled appropriately as a dietary supplement, and the company insists that the product is safe, as substantiated by third party research.

Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio.  She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committeee and has been a member of the Chief Judge’s Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Florida Justice Association.