1 March 2015

Industry rejects ‘closed shop’ conference findings calling for more energy drink restrictions

The Australian Beverages Council, representing the domestic energy drink market, has today rejected calls from a recent conference calling for more energy drink restrictions.

“The Deakin University-backed conference, also sponsored by Vic Health and Geelong City Council, banned any industry representatives from attending. We understand energy drinks are a popular topic, but to blatantly ban industry from participating defies common sense and flies in the face of open, rigorous and transparent debate on issues” said the Council’s CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.

“What the ‘experts’ found regarding energy drink consumption would be consistent with coffee consumption. In a small portion of the population caffeine sensitivity can result in a number of effects not seen in most other people.

“The researchers have ignored Government data that clearly shows relatively few teenagers actually consume energy drinks, with just 3.8% of dietary caffeine for the average 14-16 year old coming from energy drinks. In contrast, 50% of caffeine intake for this age group comes from tea and coffee. Clearly energy drinks aren’t the issue and if the experts were serious about caffeine consumption by teenagers, they’d call for a ban on coffee. Of course that would be irrational and stupid” said Mr Parker.

“Australia’s strict regulations for energy drinks limit the caffeine content at 80mg for a 250mL can. This is the equivalent caffeine to a cup of instant coffee.

“In addition to caps on the amount of caffeine in energy drinks, food law also requires all labels to carry clear warning statements that the product is not suitable for children as well as an advisory statement recommending no more than 500mL be consumed per day. This is the equivalent caffeine of two cups of instant coffee and these regulations far exceed anything in place for any other caffeinated products be that coffee, tea, chocolate or flavoured milk. The industry would suggest there are already ample regulations for energy drinks.” Mr Parker said.

To further promote a responsible approach to consumption and marketing of energy drinks, the industry commits to the following guidelines:

  • Energy drinks are not made available in primary nor secondary schools
  • Marketing and advertising activities of energy drinks are not directed at children
  • No promotional activities are undertaken that encourage excessive consumption of energy drinks
  • Labels of energy drinks do not promote the mixing of energy drinks with any other beverage

Geoff Parker, CEO of Australian Beverages Council, 0407 646 195

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.

150301 Industry rejects closed shop conference findings calling for more energy drink restrictions

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