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New York attorney general subpoenas popular energy drink

By ANNA MEILER

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The makers of Monster describe their sugary, caffeinated drink as a powerful punch.

"Like coffee but better," said Meris Alieass, while cracking a Monster drink.

But, the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Fransisco city attorney are teaming up to take Monster to court because they believe the drink poses health risks and targets minors. With an edgy logo and an appeal to athletes and anarchists, many say the can does attract kids and teens.

"This green. The green is a fluorescent, it's a young color," said Gloria Vescera, who won't let her grandchildren consume the drink.

"Scary movies like that teens would watch, that's what it looks like to me," said Diana Vandenberg.

With Call of Duty logos on the rim, it's also successful in catching the attention of gamers.

"They've got other games and I play Assassin's Creed so if they come out with Assassin's Creed for Monster, I'm going to buy the Assassin's Creed drink," said Alieass.

The back of the can says it's not recommended for kids, but several teens walking into Utica convenient stores Wednesday purchased the beverage and doctors say they shouldn't be drinking it either.

"An adult 18 and over can decide but no I don't think any teenagers should- too small, not enough caffeine history," said Dr. Taryn Rio, a pediatrician at Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford.

Besides making you jittery and hyper, Dr. Rio says young people with pre-existing heart conditions have died from consuming energy drinks.

"Most young people and teenagers don't know they have a heart problem until something happens so I think even one person dropping dead from drinking a caffeinated drink is too many," she said.

Dr. Rio said there are many alternatives to energy drinks such as a good night's sleep, a healthy diet and staying hydrated.

The attorney general and city attorney hope their combined effort will ease Monster's marketing practices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

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