New York’s attorney general is investigating whether the multibillion-dollar energy-drink industry is deceiving consumers with misstatements about the ingredients and health value of its products.
Eric T. Schneiderman issued subpoenas in July to PepsiCo Inc., maker of AMP, Monster Beverage Corp., and Living Essentials LLC, maker of 5-hour Energy drink, according to a person familiar with the matter. The subpoenas asked for information on the companies’ marketing and advertising practices.
The caffeine-heavy, carbonated beverages have become ubiquitous at grocery stores, gas stations and checkout counters across the country. Makers of the drinks, which are often sweetened with flavors such as grape or mixed berry, say they boost energy with a mix of additives including B-vitamins, taurine and ginseng. AMP’s website, for example, says the B-vitamins and caffeine in its Boost drinks offers “the kick you need to tackle the early morning meeting.” On its website, 5-hour Energy says it gives “hours of energy” with “no crash later.”
If energy-drink makers are found to have violated certain New York state laws regulating food and drugs, they could be forced to pay civil fines and penalties, and to change their labeling and marketing.