Australian Beverages Council rejects “Lethal” energy drink claims
(Photo: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
The Australian Beverages Council representing the energy drinks industry denied all claims that alcohol mixed with energy drinks was a lethal combination. According to the CEO, Geoff Parker a standard energy drink contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
The energy drinks industry has received a lot of negative attention recently with some even calling for the regulation of energy drinks sales in venues and stores. However the industry has denied all claims that energy drinks are deadly and insist that there is sufficient information provided on packaging according to Australian regulations for people to make their own informed decisions.
The Distilled Spirits Industry Council (DSICA) has already imposed stricter regulations on their members regarding the combination of pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks. According to their spokesman Stephen Riden, their members are already not allowed to add taurine and are not permitted to promote the product as an energy drink. It also may not contain more than 2 standard drinks per container. According to DSICA only 2 of its members currently produce alcoholic energy drinks.
DSICA and The Australian Beverages Council both agreed that consumers must take responsibility for their drinking behaviour and need to keep track of how much they consume instead of blaming manufacturers.
Many believe that banning pre-mixed energy drinks combined with alcohol will be futile because people can just buy energy drinks at the store and mix it themselves. The responsibility ultimately lies with consumers who need to be more cautious about what the drink and how much. Alcohol servers should also be aware of the amount of alcohol they are serving people and ensure that they are doing so responsibility.
According to a post on TheShout.com this is what else the interest groups DSICA and Australian Beverages Council had to say on the issue:
A report on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes program referred to the combination of energy drinks and alcohol as a “lethal mix” and interviewed several young drinkers whose use of energy drinks and alcohol, either in an RTD format or mixed with spirits, led to illness, hospitalisation, and in one case, death.
One of the individuals interviewed for the program, known as Alicia, said that even though drinking alcohol mixed with an energy drink caused a heart reaction that led to her being admitted to hospital, less than one year later she was re-admitted to hospital after making the conscious decision to once again drink an alcohol and energy drink combination while on a night out with friends.
Geoff Parker, CEO of the Australian Beverages Council, which represents the energy drinks industry in Australia, said that licensed venue data shows that sales of energy drinks account for approximately 0.64 per cent of an average bar’s takings.
“A standard 250ml can of energy drink contains no more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Energy drinks are highly regulated in Australia and these standards not only regulate the ingredients of these products, but also ensure that all product packaging contain warning statements about the caffeine content and that they are not suitable for children and people sensitive to caffeine,” Parker said.