• Aus, NZ to review safety of drinks
  • Possible action on non-alcoholic energy drinks
  • Working with industry to cut BPA use
Australia and New Zealand weigh ban on caffeinated alcoholic drinks

Australia and New Zealand weigh ban on caffeinated alcoholic drinks

The backlash against alcoholic drinks containing caffeine has spread beyond the US after authorities in Australia and New Zealand have raised concerns about the products.

The Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council said today (3 December) that it has referred pre-mixed alcohol and caffeine drinks to its Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. If deemed unsafe, it could move to ban the drinks.

The announcement indicates that the debate on the safety of caffeinated alcoholic drinks is spreading to the world stage. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) last month moved to ban the drinks, citing safety concerns after a year-long review of the category.

Australia and New Zealand authorities today broadened the net for possible regulation by also announcing a review of caffeinated energy drinks that do not contain alcohol. It said that it has asked the Food Regulation Standing Committee to "undertake scoping work and provide advice on possible areas for action". It did not detail the nature of possible action.

Separately, the Ministerial Council said that it is continuing to work with the food and drink industry to reduce use of the bisphenol A chemical in packaging.