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Times of India
19 July 2011
New Delhi, India

Energy drinks being sold in India have dangerous levels of caffeine, a Delhi–based NGO, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), has said after conducting lab tests. According to the tests, 44% of the samples violate the maximum permissible limits of caffeine prescribed by the government.

The CSE tested leading ‘energy’ drink brands like Red Bull and Cloud 9, and found that many samples had breached the government set standard of 145 parts per million of caffeine. The NGO also warned that the industry was pushing for the relaxation of government norms, which would make it legitimate for the drinks to have much higher concentrations of the energy booster, laced with dangerous chemicals in them.

Under the new rules, the industry wants to more than double the limits of infusing caffeine into the drinks that are usually targeted at youth and health enthusiasts. "The Prevention of Food Adulteration allows a limit of 145 parts per million (ppm) of caffeine in carbonated beverages, but ‘energy’ drink manufacturers want a 320 ppm cap. What’s worse, the country’s food regulatory body seems to be towing their line," the CSE said in a release.

Red Alert
CSE tests 8 ‘energy’ drink brands; finds 44% samples breach govt standard of 145 parts per mn of caffeine Caffeine in these drinks can have severe impact on health, says CSE, asking for strict regulatory control Red Bull makers say it has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee ‘Energy drink caffeine level same as in coffee’

New Delhi: Delhi–based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has asked for strict regulatory controls on caffeine content in packaged energy drinks like Red Bull and Cloud 9. "Their makers… claim that these help increase alertness of the mind and improve concentration, stamina and athletic performance, but in reality, the caffeine in them can cause severe health impacts," said CSE. Red Bull producers in response said, "Red Bull Energy Drink contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, 80mg.

This is the same in the 160 countries across the world where our product is on sale. The health authorities of these countries, including India, have concluded that Red Bull is safe to consume. Red Bull is not "banned" anywhere: it would be like "banning" coffee, colas or other caffeinated drinks".

The NGO, which had earlier stirred a debate by uncovering the presence of pesticide in carbonated drinks, pointed out that while the regular drinks were allowed a lower safe limit, the companies were asking that ‘energy drinks’ be allowed to power their drinks with a higher level of the chemical.

CSE tested 16 samples – two each of eight brands – of ‘energy’ drinks purchased at random from markets across the country. The brands tested were Red Bull, Coca–Cola’s Burn, Cloud 9, Hector Beverages’ Tzinga, Monster Energy Ltd’s Monster Ripper and three of JMJ group’s XXX energy drink brands–Rejuve, Nicofix and Minus. The tests, carried out at its lab, found that 38% of the samples breached the permissible limit mentioned on the label, while 25% did not mention the caffeine content on the label. Worse, 44% breached the caffeine limit of 145 ppm.

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