The Minister of Health intends to amend the
regulations* relating to soft drinks, specifically those
categorised as "formulated caffeinated beverage or cola
beverage"; in other words "energy drinks".
What is the motivation behind this? The Government, in an effort
to enhance public awareness of the possible effects of these
products and to ensure that consumers are protected against any
misleading labels, has undertaken to place more stringent
requirements on the manufacturers of these goods. The intention is
to allow consumers to make informed choices for themselves and for
In terms of the regulations, caffeine containing beverages
include "formulated caffeinated beverages or cola
beverages". The regulations further define a formulated
caffeinated beverage as "a non-alcoholic, water-based,
flavoured beverage that contains caffeine and may contain
carbohydrates, amino-acids, vitamins and other substances,
including other ingredients, for the purpose of enhancing mental
Where these "energy drinks" contain more than 150mg/l
of caffeine, the amended regulations require that the containers
bear the following warnings:
A message on the main panel of the label, in bold capital
letters not less than 3.0 mm in height: "HIGH CAFFEINE
A clearly legible message in capital letters not less than 3.0
mm in height: "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS OF
AGE, PREGNANT WOMAN, PERSONS SENSITIVE TO CAFFEINE AND NOT TO BE
CONSUMED AS A MIXTURE WITH ALCOHOL BEVERAGES",
The label on the package will also need to include declarations
as to the quantity of caffeine per serving size and per 100ml,
expressed in milligrams or "mg".
The public has until 13 August 2011 to comment on the draft
*This refers to Section 15(1) of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics
and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972). (information
given either as a footnote marked with an asterisk – or
preferably a hyperlink to the relevant Section)
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