Recall issued for Monster branded energy drinks not meant to be sold in Canada

Grey market caffeinated energy drinks lack proper caffeine and bilingual labelling.
Tom Venetis
Associate Editor, Convenience Store News Canada + OCTANE
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Monster Energy Drink Juice

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a national recall of Monster brand energy drinks, which the company says likely are not authorized for sale in Canada. 

For Monster Energy products that are marketed and sold in Canada, Monster has an exclusive sales and distribution relationship with Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited. 

READ: Special Report: Grey market products being sold at Canadian c-stores

In a statement, the company said: "Monster takes compliance very seriously and specifically formulates and labels all products for sale and distribution in Canada to comply with Canadian requirements, including regulatory limitations on caffeine (which other countries may not share) and bilingual labelling requirements. In addition, all Monster energy drinks for the Canadian market have been authorized for sale by Health Canada."

The company said is was not contacted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regarding this recall and Monster is actively trying to get additional information from the regulator.

"Monster suspects that this product was formulated and labeled to meet the regulatory requirements of another country and was not intended for Canada, but nonetheless ended up in the possession of a third-party, unknown to Monster, that is named in the recall notice. It is likely that the products were transhipped from a country outside of Canada."

Neither Monster nor CCCBL were named in the recall notice and the company emphasized it "does not believe this recall has any impact on Monster products formulated and labelled for Canada."

Indeed, the CFIA states the recall affects all flavours of the drink that contain caffeine and that do not have bilingual labelling in English and French. The agency says the products are being recalled due to various non-compliances related to caffeine content and labelling requirements.

It advises Canadians not to consume, serve or distribute the recalled products, which should be thrown out or returned where they were purchased.

Convenience store operators would be advised to confirm that they products they sell are authorized for sale in Canada. 

While no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the recalled products has been reported, the agency says that high levels of caffeine may have adverse health effects for children, pregnant individuals, breastfeeding individuals, and those sensitive to caffeine. Exercising while consuming caffeine may lead to adverse health effects. Some of the side effects of consuming excess caffeine may include insomnia, irritability, headaches, and nervousness.

Monster continues to try to engage with the CFIA on this issue. 

Products involved in Monster Energy recall
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