MPs rule out ban on sale of energy drinks to children

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An influential group of MPs has published the findings of its inquiry into the sale of energy drinks to under 16s, concluding that there is insufficient evidence for a blanket age restriction on the products.

The science and technology committee’s inquiry was launched in March and was set up to consider whether further action was needed from government to reduce the consumption of energy drinks among young people.

In its report, the committee states: “On balance, we conclude that the current scientific evidence alone is not sufficient to justify a measure as prohibitive as a statutory ban on the sale of energy drinks to children. Single portions are within the European Food Safety Authority’s suggested limit for caffeine intake by children.”

In the report, the committee also outlined its support for schools, local authorities and communities working with businesses and vending machine providers to reduce the consumption of energy drinks among young people where appropriate.

Commenting on the report, Association of Covenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman said:  “Over half of convenience stores are not selling energy drinks to under 16s. Some have variations of that policy, so it might be that they don’t sell to people in school uniform, it might be not to sell in the morning, it might be not to sell more than one can. We welcome the findings of the Committee’s report, and encourage retailers to engage with their local communities where concerns about the sale of energy drinks arise.”

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