Canadian Beverage Association Responds to The Report by the Expert Panel on Caffeinated Energy Drinks

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Beverage Association is supportive of science-based regulations for energy drinks and all food and beverage products.  However, energy drink regulations must be developed using detailed scientific analysis, risk assessments and they must be supported through a robust pharmacovigilance analysis.  In the absence of these mandatories, the interests of Canadian consumers are not being met.  

We assert that the conclusions reached in the Expert Panel Report are based on flawed assessments and assumptions of the data put before the Panel.  As a result, the recommendations run counter to how these products are regulated in 160 countries world-wide, including the EU, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  

The Panel's recommendations are completely unsubstantiated in science and their conclusions are unreasonable.   At the request of industry, independent experts conducted a detailed pharmacovigilance analysis of the data provided to the Panel by Health Canada.  This analysis included a review and assessment of all reported adverse events, which the CBA obtained from Health Canada under Access to Information.  Based on their independent analysis, these third party experts concluded that the linking of the alleged adverse reactions to the use of energy drinks were unfounded based on the data before Health Canada.  Their analysis does not show any supportive facts for the Panel's position and fully supports the multitude of international assessments that energy drinks and their ingredients are safe.  

Based on the Panel's definition of drinks containing stimulants, all forms of coffee and tea would fall into the same definition. Given that over ninety per cent (90%) of the caffeine in Canadians' diets comes from coffee and tea1, it is therefore perplexing that these beverages would not be subject to the same demanding requirements as energy drinks.  

In a mL by mL comparison, energy drinks contain on average half the caffeine found in a regular cup of filtered drip coffee.    A small 237 mL (8 oz) filter-drip coffee contains approximately 179 mgs of caffeine while a similar sized energy drink contains on average only 80 mg.  

Energy drinks have been regulated, sold and consumed as food products in more than 160 countries around the world for years.  Health authorities and numerous scientific expert panels in various jurisdictions, including the EU, Australia and New Zealand, have assessed energy drinks and their ingredients and have concluded that they are safe.

The Canadian Beverage Association is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of brands and companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic liquid refreshment beverages consumed in Canada.

Copies of the third party reports are available.  Please contact stephanie@canadianbeverage.ca

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1 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2008004/article/6500821-eng.pdf
[1] http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/alt_formats/pdf/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/caffeine-eng.pdf


SOURCE Canadian Beverage Association

For further information:

Stephanie Baxter
Senior Director, Communications
Canadian Beverage Association
Work:     (416) 362-2424
stephanie@canadianbeverage.ca
www.canadianbeverage.ca


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