Canada alters energy drink regulations

Oct. 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM

OTTAWA, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Canadians think of energy drinks as foods, not health products, and as a result the government is changing how it regulates them, officials said.

The change from considering the drinks as natural health products to treating them as foods means the popular beverages will have to carry labels listing their ingredients, allergens and nutrition information, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News reported.

The regulation changes announced Thursday by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq ignored the advice of an expert panel that had recommended banning the sale of energy drinks to young people and restricting where they can be sold.

The government is taking a "balanced approach" to allow Canadians to make their own decisions about the caffeine-laced energy drinks, she said.

"I firmly believe it is up to individuals as well as parents to make their own decisions when it comes to what they eat and what they drink," Aglukkaq said. "That's why our focus is on giving people the information they need to make good, informed decisions.

"I believe today's changes will be especially helpful to parents of teenagers who regularly consume energy drinks."

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