According to news sources, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have entered an agreement to share documents and otherwise coordinate efforts in their ongoing investigations of Monster Beverage Corp., which, they allege, illegally markets highly caffeinated beverages to children. Herrera reportedly said, “Up until now, we have been working in parallel fashion, but now you will see greater cooperation. I have enormous respect for Attorney General Schneiderman and am glad to be working with his office in this major consumer protection issue.” Herrera further claimed that the company continues “to market its potentially dangerous products to children, despite the known risks it poses to young people. Hopefully, our efforts can lead to a reform of those practices.”
The agreement was apparently struck about the same time that a court dismissed Monster Beverage’s attempt to stop Herrera’s investigation. Details about the ruling appear in Issue 508 of this Update. Meanwhile, the company has issued a statement saying, “the sale and consumption of more than 10 billion Monster energy drinks worldwide over more than 11 years has shown that our products are safe. Contrary to allegations, they are not ‘highly caffeinated’ and they are not marketed to children.” See Associated Press, January 14, 2014; Law360, January 15, 2014.