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The disclosure this week that the deaths of five people since 2009 may be linked to a popular energy drink has revealed major gaps in the way federal regulators and companies monitor product safety.

Food and Drug Administration officials say that they are aggressively investigating the death reports, which are associated with Monster Energy, a highly caffeinated beverage. And its producer, the Monster Beverage Corporation, insists its products are safe, adding that it was unaware, apart from one fatality report, of other filings about deaths and serious injuries linked to its drinks.

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