MR-291113 Australian beverage industry responds to Tamworth energy drinks ban

Media Release

29 November 2013

The Australian Beverages Council, representing the Australian energy drink industry, has questioned recent moves by the Tamworth Liquor Accord to implement bans on the sale of energy drinks as a mixer after 9pm.
“While the industry supports measures to curb anti-social behavior that often occurs, banning a non-alcoholic mixer that contains only 80mg of caffeine in a standard 250ml can – which is the same as a cup of instant coffee – and comprises less than one per cent of overall bar sales. is a step too far” said the Council’s CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.
The Liquor Accord’s assertion that mixing energy drinks with alcohol contributes to late night problems is contrary to the evidence coming from international food safety authorities and research studies.
“Leading global authorities like the UK Government’s Committee on Toxicology (2012) concluded that the current balance of evidence does not support a harmful toxicological or behavioral interaction between caffeine and alcohol. This confirms similar findings from the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food (2003) and the European Food Safety Authority (2009).
“A recent study of over 6,000 Dutch students comparing those that consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks versus those that drank alcohol alone, provides scientific evidence that mixing energy drinks with alcohol does not increase overall alcohol consumption and/or alcohol-related consequences. In fact, the study revealed that those that mix energy drinks with alcohol actually consume less alcohol compared to those who drank alcohol alone. Furthermore, a 2013 survey of over 1,200 Australians aged between 18-34 revealed that only 10% of people drink energy drinks on a night out and not all of them mix energy drinks with alcohol.
“The science doesn’t support the Accord’s energy drink ban. Common-sense points to the issue of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol – whether that be before people leave their home on a night out or in licensed venues, as being the cause of late night violence in and around premises. It’s not the mixer that’s the problem” Mr Parker concluded.

 

ENERGY DRINK FACTS


• Food Standard 2.6.4 (Formulated Caffeinated Beverages) of the Australian and New Zealand Food Standard Code is the regulatory standard that governs the content and mandatory advisory statements for energy drinks.
• Food Standard 2.6.4. limits the amount of caffeine in a 250mL energy drink to 80 mg – the equivalent of a cup of coffee.

For more information contact: Geoff Parker, CEO – 0407 646 195
For a copy of the industry’s Energy Drinks – An Industry Commitment go to: http://www.australianbeverages.org/lib/pdf/EnergyDrinks_AnIndustryCommitment.pdf

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body for the non-alcoholic beverages industry and represents 95% of the industry’s production volume through membership.