OTTAWA -- The federal government is not responding strongly enough to regulate energy drinks, says the Green Party of Canada. "It is appalling that the Harper government is ignoring expert advice to protect kids' health by clamping down on energy drinks. These should be called drugs, not drinks, and should be regulated accordingly," said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
An expert panel including physicians has recommended to Health Canada that energy drinks should only be sold under the supervision of a pharmacist, similar to other stimulant drugs. The experts also recommended the products be labeled with a health warning and that the caffeine content be limited to 80 milligrams per can, particularly because children tend to consume multiple cans. Instead, Minister of Health Aglukkaq is failing to act.
"The experts are telling us what we need to do to protect our children and we are ignoring them," said May. "Energy drink companies are still free to market to children, who may then consume a dangerous amount of these beverages. Drugs should not be marketed and available to children, period."