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Energy drinks face N.Y. probe

Wed., Aug. 29, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. – High-octane energy drinks including 5-Hour Energy and Monster that promise healthy bursts of energy are getting pulled over in New York.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas this summer to the drinks’ makers, according to a person familiar with the inquiry, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn’t yet been made public.

Earlier this month, Monster Beverage Corp. disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that an attorney general had sent it a subpoena.

The maker of the ubiquitous 5-Hour Energy shots, Living Essentials LLC, disclosed the probe to investors in a recent private report, the person said. The person also said subpoenas were sent to PepsiCo Inc., which makes AMP energy drinks, in the investigation first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The probe is examining how the drinks are made, often loaded with caffeine and sugar, along with what critics say is a mostly useless amount of Vitamin B, and how they are marketed at sports events and sometimes in bars.

“This has been a slimy sector of the beverage industry almost since the beginning,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “It’s just kind of playing off people’s presumptions that they provide a benefit.”

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