By James Atkinson

The Australian Beverages Council, representing the entire Australian energy drink industry, has today rejected calls from Doctors for greater regulations of energy drinks.

The Australian Medical Association is calling for age restrictions on the drinks, claiming there has been a rise in the number of teenagers becoming ill from over-consumption.

But Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker, said energy drinks in Australia are already the most heavily regulated of all world markets.

"Personal responsibility needs to be considered and trying to regulate against a lack of common sense or over-consumption of a perfectly safe product by 0.00001% of the population isn't a position supported by the industry," he said.

Parker said there are already regulations in place that limit the amount of caffeine in Australian energy drinks to that of a common cup of coffee, and all labels must contain warning statements that the beverages are not suitable for children, pregnant women or people sensitive to caffeine.

"All labels must also contain a daily usage advisory statement which states no more than two cans (2x250mL) should be consumed a day," he said.

"The industry would contend this provides consumers with sufficient information so as they are able to make an informed decision about their decision to safely consume an energy drink or not."

Parker said that in addition to the world's most stringent formulation and labelling regulations, the industry has developed a suite of industry commitments that go beyond existing regulations and further restrict the marketing and promotion of energy drinks.

"General caffeine consumption within society has increased over the period of the study and the proliferation of coffee shops in recent years is testimony to that," he said.

"If indeed caffeine over-consumption is the concern of the researchers then the proposed review of labelling and sale provisions should be extended for all cups of coffee, pots of tea and all chocolate bars – products which all contain caffeine," Parker said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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