Energy drink makers meet new Canadian regulations

by Jeff Gelski
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OTTAWA – Companies reformulated or re-labeled 28 energy drink products in Canada to meet a Health Canada deadline of Dec. 15, 2012. Health Canada previously ruled that for every non-re-sealable container, irrespective of the size of the energy drink, the amount of caffeine from all sources shall not exceed 180 mg.

Health Canada also determined caffeinated energy drinks should be classified as a food and not as a natural health product and that they should not be promoted to children. Energy drinks are not recommended to children due to their high levels of caffeine and other ingredients.

Health Canada recommends adults consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine daily. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends adolescents consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine daily.

Health Canada presented its proposed approach to managing caffeinated energy drinks on Oct. 6, 2011, and then received comments from that date until Nov. 15, 2011. Health Canada provided a summary of comments and its responses on April 11, 2012.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an Aug. 10, 2012, letter said it soon will provide a final guidance to industry on how to appropriately categorize and label energy drinks. The upcoming guidance may say whether or not energy drinks may be labeled as dietary supplements.

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