March 6, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD
The Maryland State Assembly will begin debate on a bill to regulate “energy drinks”, such as those made by Monster Beverage, just as tobacco is regulated. Data from poison control centers directly link at least 20,000 emergency room visits to energy drink overdoses. From 2003 to 2011, ER visits caused by energy drinks quadrupled, according to Dr. Stacy Fisher who testified before the Maryland State Assembly.
CNBC news has covered the story as it relates to Monster Beverage stock (ticker MNST). On March 6th, astoundingly, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) issued a statement, that seemed to defend energy drinks. The statement, issued by ACC member Kim Williams, MD of Rush University, seemed to use the same tactics used by Big Tobacco to deny the obvious links of smoking to death.
Dr. Kim wrote, “It took researchers decades to study the effects of cigarette smoking, more data is needed before we can really tell how energy drinks impact the heart.”
The Healthcare Channel requested from the ACC and Dr. Williams all financial disclosures that might indicate a financial bias caused by payments from the beverage industry. They did not respond in time for the publication of this report.
The ACC has been causing one controversy after the other over the recent years. The recent guidelines to change how doctors decide which patients should be on cholesterol lowering statins generated criticism after it employed an arbitrary untested calculator took. Before that, the ACC partnered with the CRF to manage the ACC’s version of the TCT: The I2 Interventional Summit. Many non-interventional cardiologists were enraged by this move as the CRF has been viewed as being too cozy with the medical device industry.
The CEO of the ACC Jack Lewin, was removed from his post in 2012. The ACC issued a brief statement then, “(After more than 5 years in the post, Lewin) is leaving to pursue other opportunities and challenges,”.