MEDIA STATEMENT

5 November 2014

Industry banned from attending the 1st International Energy Drinks Conference

The Australian Beverages Council has today expressed its disappointment and dismay at a ban that prohibits the industry group from attending the 1st International Energy Drinks Conference, held at Deakin across 6-7 November.

“The Australian Beverages Council represents the energy drinks industry in Australia and is frustrated by the organisers lack of willingness to ‘start an open dialogue’” said Council’s CEO Geoff Parker.

“By opting for a ‘closed shop’ and restrictive approach to attendance at the conference, the  organisers and sponsors, including Vic Health, are purposefully preventing an inclusive dialogue, where key issues could have been addressed and workable solutions established. In 2014 this isn’t what we would expect from the country’s health professionals,”  Mr Parker said.

“The conference organising committee has decided that attendance will not be granted to any ‘people who are employed by energy drinks manufacturers, or have received research grants, travel expenses or other financial awards’. As an industry that values open and collaborative approach to issues, we find this stance both perplexing and disappointing,”  Mr Parker said.

“The industry recognises the key role it needs to play in educating the Australian public about consumption of energy drinks. It also has a long history of taking a responsible, proactive and responsive approach to the energy drinks category, including developing a set of voluntary commitments that all manufacturers adhere to. These include not selling energy drinks in any school, not directing marketing or advertising towards children and ensuring no promotional activities encourage excessive consumption of energy drinks.

“The Australian energy drink market is the most regulated in the world and our products have a caffeine cap, include mandatory warning statements and are clearly labelled with a 500ml daily usage maximum. All this ensures that people have ample information to consume energy drinks responsibly” Mr Parker concluded.

 ENDS

Media contact: Geoff Parker – Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council  +61 (0)407 646 195

Notes to editor

  1.  Energy drinks in Australia are clearly labelled with total caffeine amounts and maximum usage recommendations.
    1. All of the ingredients are safe and comply with the relevant standard of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

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.

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