Canadian Beverage Industry responds to CMAJ on energy drinks

TORONTO, July 26 /CNW/ - In response to the July 26 Canadian Medical Association Journal editorial "Caffeinating children and youth", the Canadian Beverage Industry would like to correct a number of inaccuracies and offer the following industry perspective that highlights the importance of understanding energy drinks within the Canadian regulatory context.

We strongly agree that energy drinks should be marketed responsibly. In Canada, energy drinks are not sold as foods but as Natural Health Products. They are formulated, labelled and marketed in accordance with Health Canada's Natural Health Products Regulation. These energy drinks are intended for adults and clearly indicate on the label that this category of beverage is not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people who are sensitive to caffeine. Contrary to the editorial, energy drink labels also contain additional information on the use, recommended dosage, intended population, any precautions (such as not mixing with alcohol) and lists of medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients, including a clear declaration of caffeine content from all sources.

Further discussions regarding the sale of energy drinks should be based on accepted science and facts. Contrary to the information in the article, energy drinks have not been banned in Denmark. In fact, energy drinks have been reviewed and approved as safe for sale in 160 countries around the world without any regulated age restriction. The safety of these beverages has been subject of extensive review and analysis by regulatory authorities world-wide, including the European Food Safety Authority and Food Safety Authority of Australia and New Zealand. Without exception these examinations have confirmed the safety of these products in markets around the world.

Health Canada's guidance on the safe use of energy drinks can be accessed from its website at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/energy-energie-eng.php. In Canada, by volume, mainstream energy drinks have approximately less caffeine than a cup of filter drip coffee (80 - 140 milligrams per energy drink vs. 179 milligrams per 237ml cup of coffee). Information on caffeine is also available from Health Canada's website at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/caffeine-eng.php.

As with many products, it is important to read the product label and use as directed.

Refreshments Canada 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.

SOURCE REFRESHMENTS CANADA

For further information: For further information: Justin Sherwood, President, Refreshments Canada, 20 Bay Street, WaterPark Place, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2N8, Work: (416) 362-2424, justin@refreshments.ca

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REFRESHMENTS CANADA

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