Red Bull linked to three deaths in Canada

Nov. 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM
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TORONTO, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Energy drinks have caused three Canadian teenagers to die and have had serious side effects on 35 other Canadians since 2003, Health Canada documents show.

The three male teens, two 15-year-olds and an 18-year-old, died after drinking Red Bull, The Toronto Star reported. Red Bull also appears in more side-effect reports than any other similar product.

Health Canada and the energy drink companies said side-effect reports show only a suspected connection between a product and side effect but no medical proof that one caused the other.

"Because a product or ingredient is listed on an adverse events report it in no way confirms or even implies a causal link," said Canadian Beverage Association spokeswoman Stephanie Baxter. "There can be a multitude of items listed on each report and a full review of the event is required to determine which, if any, played a role."

Some Canadian provinces are considering limiting sales of energy drinks. In New Brunswick, a private member's bill that has been proposed would require stores that sell energy drinks to display warning signs with the drinks, and Nova Scotia's professional doctors association asked the province this year to ban the sale of the drinks to people younger than age 19.

"That would exclude children and youth because we feel they're at particular risk of consumption of high amounts of caffeine," said Dr. John Finley, president of Doctors Nova Scotia.

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