EUROPE: EU tightens warning labels for energy drinks

By Chris Mercer | 9 December 2011

Energy drinks face tougher regulation in EU

Energy drinks face tougher regulation in EU

New food labelling rules in the European Union mean that energy drinks with a high caffeine content must contain front-of-pack warnings for children and pregnant women.

The regulation, printed in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) yesterday (8 December), says that the warning labels will apply to all energy drinks that contain the equivalent of more than 150mg per litre. According to the UK Food Standards Agency, energy drinks contain an average of 80mg of caffeine per 250ml serving.

Where the EU limit is breached, producers must print the following: "High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women." The warning must appear "in the same field of vision as the name of the beverage", the EU regulation states. 

The move marks a tightening of the rules around energy drinks, which have faced criticism from health groups across Europe and in North America. Previously in the EU, producers had to flag up "high caffeine content" on product labels, but with no warnings for specific consumer groups. 

Sectors: Legislation, Soft drinks, Water

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