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CANADA: Canadian beverage firms blast energy recommendations

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The Canadian beverage industry has hit out at recommendations by Health Canada to restrict the sale of energy drinks in the country.

In November, an independent panel, comprising of Canadian specialists in cardiology, paediatrics, pharmacology and kinesiology, presented recommendations to Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, proposing that energy drinks be renamed "stimulant drug containing drinks'' and be sold only under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. The panel added that warning labels should be present on cans stating that "serious adverse events - including death - have been [associated] with these products".

The Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) however, has said that the recommendations are "completely unsubstantiated in science and their conclusions are unreasonable".

"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," the CBA said. "As a result, the recommendations run counter to how these products are regulated in 160 countries worldwide, including the EU, Australia, New Zealand and the US."

The association added: "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 90% of the caffeine in Canadians' diets comes from coffee and tea, it is therefore perplexing that these beverages would not be subject to the same demanding requirements as energy drinks."

Aglukkaq has not given a date for the Government's response but has said that one can be expected "in a short while".


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

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