San Francisco's city attorney wants Monster Beverage to cut down on both the caffeine in its energy drinks and the marketing of them, and the company is fighting back in federal court. Monster sued the office of Dennis Herrera this week, arguing that its drinks are no more harmful than a cup of Starbucks coffee and making the case that only the FDA can regulate the market, reports the Wall Street Journal.
One thing in particular that irritates Herrera is that the company has a Monster Army website for kids that shows an 11-year-old "Monster Army Major" and a 6-year-old "Reserve," reports the San Francisco Chronicle. So, yes, the energy drinks have less caffeine than a cup at Starbucks, but the coffee chain "isn’t marketing sweet drinks that are highly caffeinated to young people,” says a Herrera spokesperson. The legal fight comes amid heightened scrutiny of energy drinks not only by the FDA but by New York state in particular.