New Delhi : The government”s food safety regulator has woken up after years of proliferation of energy drinks to ban nine such drinks produced by three firms of Mumbai, Pune and Gurgaon. Many such drinks of other companies are still under scrutiny.
These drinks sold in small bottles and sachets have been a craze, specially among the youth and those going to gyms as they are promoted as a quick way to relieve fatigue and improve both physical and intellectual alertness.
Many such drinks are still available in the market since the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) that started cracking down on their manufacturers through notices issued to them on different dates from November 2014 through this month chose not to make public the harmful effects of the concoctions they were producing.
Its crackdown came to light only when it put the notices sent out to the three manufacturers on its website two days ago. It pointed out that the combination of caffeine and ginseng in these energy drinks is deadly as it is not only impermissible scientifically but also irrational.
The regulatory agency started banning the energy drinks after a scientific panel informed it that the combination of caffeine and ginseng – a compound
extracted from a herb used in traditional Chinese medicines — was irrational as caffeine and ginseng have “adversarial effects.” The panel also warned that it could be even fatal if some people take the energy drinks along with alcohol as the Canadian Journal of Cardiology has already documented how some energy drinks have the potential to trigger sudden cardiac deaths of healthy individuals combining them with alcohol or other drugs. The health activists noted that there are already food regulations in India limiting the amount of caffeine in carbonated beverages to 145 parts per million (ppm) but no such limit has been prescribed for the energy drinks. They said the government had come out with a draft proposal to separately categorise the energy drinks, setting the maximum caffeine level at 320 ppm but nothing was heard thereafter. The energy drinks banned one after another are: Absolutely Zero and Monster Energy made by Monster Energy of India, Mumbai, Cloud 9 Pomegranate, Cloud 9 Red Grapes, Cloud 9 Wild Berry and Cloud 9 Premium by the Pushpam Foods and Beverages, Pune and Tzinga Lemon Mint, Tzinga Tropal Trip and Mango Strawberry produced by Hector Beverages, Gurgaon. The notices sent out to the three companies ordered immediate stoppage of manufacture, sale and distribution of these energy drinks, with a warning that any further supply of the drinks by any other name without express permission would make the companies liable for action for putting the consumer to the risk of life.