Red Bull lobbies Turkey over energy drink ban

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red bull, Caffeine

The makers of the Red Bull energy drink will continue lobbying the
Turkish government, after being forced to reformulate to meet the
country's ban on high caffeine energy drinks.

A spokesperson for Red Bull said the firm was disappointed that Turkey had not followed the European Union's example of merely requiring drinks, except tea and coffee, containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre to state 'high caffeine content' on the label.

Turkey, instead, last week banned the sale of energy drinks containing caffeine above this level, adding a further twist to the debate on regulations regarding such drinks.

Red Bull was forced to reformulate to stay in Turkey. "At the request of the Turkish authorities, Red Bull on sale in Turkey has the caffeine level reduced to just under half of the amount that is accepted in more than 130 countries around the world,"​ a group spokesperson told BeverageDaily.com​.

She said the company hoped Turkey would "soon adapt its legislation"​ to allow Red Bull to again increase caffeine levels. One can of Red Bull normally contains around 80mg of caffeine.

Red Bull, one of Europe's most popular energy drinks, is already banned in France because health experts there said they were concerned about its high caffeine content, and that more studies were needed on two ingredients - taurine and glucuronolactone.- used in the drink.

The company has repeatedly assured consumers that its drink was safe.

The debate over energy drinks' caffeine content has been floating around the sector for a few years.

Dr Bruce Goldberger, a US-based researcher, argued in a recent study that all drinks containing caffeine should display the caffeine content on their labels, to prevent those at risk from consuming too much caffeine.

"In certain people, consumption of caffeine causes serious health effects, such as anxiety, palpitations, irritability, difficulty sleeping and stomach complaints,"​ he said.

Both the American Dietetic Association and the UK Food Standards Agency advise people not consumer more than 300mg of caffeine per day. Their advice is particularly aimed at pregnant women, who studies indicate have greater risk of miscarriage or babies with low birth weight if they exceed the 300mg barrier.

Related topics: Energy & Sports, Markets

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