Australian junior health minister Catherine King, said the review would consider global developments in caffeinated products

Australian junior health minister Catherine King, said the review would consider global developments in caffeinated products

Australian and New Zealand ministers have ordered a review of caffeinated energy drinks guidelines in a bid to address ongoing health concerns associated with the beverages.

The minsters met at a food regulation council meeting in Canberra today (6 May), during which Australian junior health minister Catherine King ordered that the policy guidelines on the addition of caffeine to foods, developed in 2003, be reviewed. She said the review would consider global developments in caffeinated products and the regulatory approaches of other countries.

The order follows the increased number of energy drinks now available on the market containing caffeine and other ingredients.

"Since 2003, the presence of caffeine in the food supply has changed substantially and the number of products containing caffeine has increased as has, in some cases, the level of caffeine in products," King said. "In response to concerns by health professionals and the community, the Ministerial Council has agreed today to a full review of the policy guideline, taking into consideration global developments in caffeinated products and regulatory approaches being taken in comparable markets."

King said the ministerial council would decide whether to refer the matter to Food Standards Australia New Zealand for further action when the review was finished.