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1 November, 2017 12:51:16 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 November, 2017 07:25:04 PM


Beware of energy drinks

9 brands carry higher caffeine than approved levels
Beware of energy drinks

Nine so called ‘energy drinks’ currently available in the country contain caffeine at a level higher than is generally recognised as safe by public health experts. Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) recently collected random samples of the nine brands—Speed, Tiger, Royal Tiger, Power, Oscar, Braver, Red Bull, Bull Dozer, and Black Horse—and got those examined at three laboratories.

Of the laboratories, two belong to government agencies and the rest belongs to a renowned public engineering university. The BFSA received the test results on October 24.

As per the results, all the samples carried caffeine at a level detrimental to public health.The laboratory of one of the two government agencies found Speed as having caffeine at a rate of 290 mg/L, Tiger 314 mg/L, Power 361 mg/L, and Red Bull 756 mg/L. This laboratory, however, could not identify caffeine used in Oscar and Braver. It said these two brands may contain caffeine derivatives unknown to them.   

Another government agency laboratory found Black Horse to have contained caffeine at a level of 250 mg/L, Bull Dozer 250 mg/L, Speed 200 mg/L, Power 250 mg/L, Royal Tiger 250 mg/L, Braver 330 mg/L and Oscar 250 mg/L.

The university laboratory found Tiger has caffeine at a rate of 266mg/L, Speed 291 mg/L, Black Horse 206 mg/L, Power 344 mg/L, Oscar 385 mg/L, Braver 361 mg/L, Bull Dozer 313 mg/L.

As per BFSA member Mahbub Kabir, caffeine up to 145 mg/L is generally recognised as safe for public health.

“The owners of all these brands obtained certificates from the BSTI to sell these items as beverages. They did not obtain license for any energy drinks but have marketed the ‘beverage’ items as energy drinks,” Kabir said.

“The BSTI does not issue any license for energy drinks. So all the energy drinks currently being marketed in the country are illegal,” he added.

“On September 12, the industries minister headed a meeting that discussed this issue. at the meeting The minister directed the officials concerned to send legal notices to the companies concerned selling these drinks. He also instructed the officials to take necessary steps for cancelling the licenses of these companies,” he added.

However, sources confirmed this correspondent that the BSTI is yet to take any action in this regard.

Md Ishaque, director (CM) BSTI, told

The Independent that his organisation has again sent samples of the nine so called ‘energy drinks’ to their laboratory for retest. We will take action once the test results are available.

When asked how the brands could be marketed as ‘energy drinks’ although the BSTI do not issue any license for such drinks, the BSTI director replied that there is a huge number of products currently being marketed without our approval.

“How many products can we monitor?” he questioned.

Highly caffeinated energy drinks have the potential to negatively affect mental health, and particularly so in young consumers at whom they are often targeted. Such products are usually marketed with declarations of increasing mental and physical energy, providing a short-term boost to mood and performance.

When approached, Professor ABM Abdullah, a renowned medicine specialist, said energy drinks carrying high caffeine can affect the nervous system of a person and damage his stomach, liver, and bring hazards for other organs.

“Sell of energy drinks, if cannot be monitored, should be stopped immediately,” said the professor.

A 2014 study by World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the primary risk from energy drinks was from high caffeine levels, which can cause problems such as palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases heart failure leading to death.

The paper, published in Frontiers in Public Health, also said that caffeine has a proven negative effect on children.

“The full impact of the rise in popularity of energy drinks has not yet been quantified, but the aggressive marketing of energy drinks targeted at young people, combined with limited and varied regulation have created an environment where energy drinks could pose a significant threat to public health,” states the WHO report.






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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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