NSW Government announces ban on two energy drinks

Posted by Editorial on 4th September 2009

The New South Wales Government is planning on removing two energy drinks with very high caffeine levels from sale.

Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said the two products reportedly have up to ten times the allowed caffeine levels.

“It’s simply unacceptable that these products, clearly marketed at youths, have appeared in the market so the Government has taken immediate action to get these illegal products off the shelves,” Mr Macdonald said. “The Food Authority is working to get the so-called energy drinks ‘Fuel Cell’ and ‘Cintron’ off shop shelves as they both exceed the caffeine level legally permitted in the Food Standards Code.”

“Furthermore, the Authority is also conducting a thorough survey of these products to ensure they comply with the law.”

The food body has established 70 beverages fall under the category and they are testing all to verify the caffeine levels stated on the labels.

“It appears that some drink manufacturers have exploited a regulatory loophole by being registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a therapeutic good, despite containing caffeine levels in excess of those permitted under the Food Standards Code,” the Minister said. “The NSW Government is working closely with our Federal colleagues at the TGA to have these goods taken off their register and once this happens the Food Authority will be able to take appropriate action.”

The Authority is also looking into a specific type of Red Bull product imported from New Zealand (not the main one). This product is registered in New Zealand as a dietary food supplement and is, as such, outside the scope of the Food Standards Code. The Food Authority has raised its concerns about the product with its New Zealand counterpart.

In June Minister Macdonald wrote to his federal and state counterparts to request that the whole issue of caffeinated energy drinks be considered at the next meeting of the Food Regulation Ministerial Council in October.