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ENERGY DRINKS TO GET WARNING LABELS

The Government is looking at amending the regulations relating to soft drinks, specifically those categorized as ‘formulated caffeinated beverage or cola beverage’ in an effort to inform the public about the possible harmful effects of energy drinks. The draft amendments in terms of section 15(1) of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act of 1972 were published and the public has until 13 August 2011 to comment. In line with international standards, the new regulations will identify ‘formulated caffeinated beverages’ as ‘non alcoholic, water based, flavoured beverages which contain caffeine and may contain carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and other substances or ingredients, for the purposes of enhancing mental performance’. The proposed amendment will require that those ‘energy drinks’ that contain more than 150mg/l of caffeine bear the following:

  • A message on the main panel of the label, in bold capital letters not less than 3.0mm in height: “HIGH CAFFEINE CONTENT”
  • A clearly legible message in capital letters not less than 3.0mm in height: “NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS OF AGE, PREGNANT WOMEN, PERSONS SENSITIVE TO CAFFEINE AND NOT TO BE CONSUMED AS A MIXTURE WITH ALCOHOL BEVERAGES.”
The label on the package will also need to include declarations on the quantity of caffeine per serving size and per 100ml, expressed in milligrams or ‘mg’.
 
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ENERGY DRINKS TO GET WARNING LABELS
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