Maryland Wants Answers on 5-Hour Energy

     BALTIMORE (CN) – Maryland’s attorney general is investigating 5-Hour Energy for its claims about being “doctor recommended” and having “no crash.”
     Living Essentials LLC, Innovation Ventures LLC and MicroDose Sales, which manufacture, promote, distribute and sell the “energy shot” are all named in the petition to enforce administrative subpoenas in Baltimore City Court on Wednesday. The subpoena requests that the companies produce a witness to answer the attorney general’s questions.
     The attorney general’s Office of Consumer Protection asked for the formulas for all three versions of the product: original, extra-strength, and decaf. The products are normally sold “near the check out isle or cash register.”
     The companies have resisted, claiming they have already produced documents that include ranges of ingredients for the products.
     The attorney general doesn’t buy it.
     “Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of Living Essential’s refusal to produce information concerning the formulae for 5-hour Energy products is that Living Essentials has now produced … the formulae for 5-hour Energy on at least three occasions to a number of private parties,” the attorney general’s office said.
     At least two times the formulae were produced in connection to investigations or litigation regarding its promotional and sales practices.
     The attorneys general of Hawaii, Indiana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have all filed consumer protection actions against the companies, alleging deceptive trade.
     After a number of adverse event reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also is investigating 5-hour Energy.
     At least 13 deaths in four years have been reported, and other problems that include symptoms of shock, deafness, hallucinations, tremor, convulsion, tachycardia, loss of consciousness, head injury, drug toxicity, poisoning, spontaneous abortion, paralysis, anaphylaxis, myocardial infarction, renal failure, acute respiratory failure, cerebrovascular accident, anoxic encephalopathy, comas and absent pulse.
     Maryland requested 22 items of information, including regarding the corporate structures and operating histories of the three defendants, the policies, procedures and practices related to the sale of 5-hour Energy, sales data, information on its claims regarding the lack of a “crash,” substantiation of the alleged doctors’ recommendations, and information on investigations by the FDA, law enforcement, Congress and the Better Business Bureau.
     Living Essential responded to the subpoena by calling it “both overbroad and unduly burdensome.”It also claims that “a witness is not necessary, and, to the extent that a witness is necessary, the subpoena a does not state the request with enough particularity so the Living Essentials could locate and prepare a witness to provide testimony to the state.”

%d bloggers like this: