Canada alters energy drink regulations
Wendy Tao, B.Sc., Student Representative
The Canadian government altered energy drink regulations recently as most Canadians think of energy drinks as food, not as a health product. The change is from regulating the drinks as natural health products under the Natural Health Product (NHP) Regulations from foods, which means the beverages will have to include more stringent information listing their ingredients, allergens and nutrition information. Under these regulations, natural health products have to undergo a review process for their quality and safety. They also have to display recommended conditions for use, as well as cautions.
In addition, Health Canada is imposing the following requirements for the caffeine-filled beverages:
- Allowing a maximum concentration of 100 mg of caffeine per 250 mL.
- Setting a maximum concentration of 180 mg of caffeine in any single-serve beverage.
- Requiring labels to indicate total caffeine content and say the product is a source of high caffeine.
- Limiting the types and levels of vitamins and minerals that can be added.
- Requiring statements on the product saying it is not recommended for children, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Adding a warning that no more than 500 mL of the drink should be consumed in one day and it should not be mixed with alcohol.
These new measures do not satisfy those who have been calling for a ban on the sale of the beverages to young people. The government approach is to adopt a “balanced” approach and increase awareness about the risks of too much caffeine in an effort to help consumers and parents make informed choices about this type of beverage.