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Anger over Western Australia's ban on energy drinks during World Cup

By Richard Whitehead+ , 14-May-2014
Last updated on 14-May-2014 at 14:57 GMT

The drinks industry has slammed as “absurd” Western Australia’s decision to ban energy drinks as mixers during late-night screenings of World Cup matches.

The Department’s proposed ban is not supported by global food safety agencies, the latest science nor common sense. The mixer doesn’t cause the problem” Mr Parker concluded,” said Geoff Parker, chief executive of the Australian Beverages Council, which represents the country’s energy drink industry, after state’s Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor announced the move.

Pubs hoping to screen World Cup live football matches will have to comply with a list of strict rules imposed by the department, which aside from the energy mixer ban, outlaw the serving of shots, jugs of beer and rounds of more than four drinks.

While the industry supports measures to reduce any anti-social behaviour that could occur in and around late night trading venues, banning a non-alcoholic mixer is absurd,“ said Parker.

The department’s assertion that mixing energy drinks with alcohol in any way contributes to late night problems is contrary to the evidence coming from international food safety authorities, the latest scientific studies and a recent report from NSW Health.

Leading global authorities like the UK Government’s Committee on Toxicology concluded [in 2012] that the current balance of evidence does not support a harmful toxicological or behavioural interaction between caffeine and alcohol.”

Parker said that other bodies, including the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food and the European Food Safety Authority had also made similar findings.

Common sense also suggests that patrons visiting venues in the early hours of the morning to watch the matches might enjoy a drink mixed with an energy drink. A 250ml can contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.”

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