12 May 2014
Energy drink ban in pubs during World Cup contrary to evidence
The Australian Beverages Council, representing the Australian energy drink industry, has today slammed the recent announcement by the WA Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor that energy drink mixers would be banned in venues during late night screenings of World Cup matches.
“While the industry supports measures to reduce any anti-social behaviour that could occur in and around late night trading venues, banning a non-alcoholic mixer is absurd” said the Council’s CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.
“The Department’s assertion that mixing energy drinks with alcohol in any way contributes to late night problems is contrary to the evidence coming from international food safety authorities, the latest scientific studies and a recent report from NSW Health.
“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 behavioural 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.
“And if that wasn’t enough evidence for the WA Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor, a report in 2013 by NSW Health into alcohol and energy drinks found that “there is not yet a rigorous body of conclusive scientific evidence” on the negative effects of combining energy drinks and alcohol and there is no evidence of the “effectiveness of regulatory interventions” such as those already in place for energy drinks in WA.
“Commonsense also suggests that patrons visiting venues in the early hours of the morning to watch the matches might enjoy a drink mixed with an energy drink. A 250mL can contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
“The Department’s proposed ban is not supported by global food safety agencies, the latest science nor commonsense. The mixer doesn’t cause the problem” Mr Parker concluded.
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.