BEUC urges ban on caffeine claims

2 Jun 2015

BEUC (Bureau Europeen des Unions de Consommateurs – the European consumer organisation) has responded to EFSA’s recent announcement on caffeine intake. It notes that EFSA clarifies some caveats with regards to its recommendation on safe caffeine intake levels set out in its draft opinion. Specifically, BEUC points out that EFSA did not consider people with medical […]

BEUC urges ban on caffeine claims

energy-drink-can-white-background-48600304BEUC (Bureau Europeen des Unions de Consommateurs – the European consumer organisation) has responded to EFSA’s recent announcement on caffeine intake.

It notes that EFSA clarifies some caveats with regards to its recommendation on safe caffeine intake levels set out in its draft opinion. Specifically, BEUC points out that EFSA did not consider people with medical conditions or disease, nor did it look into the health effects of mixing caffeine with alcohol above a drink driving limit. Additionally, says BEUC, EFSA acknowledges some data gaps when it comes to caffeine safety in children and caffeine intakes from food supplements.

“We appreciate EFSA’s efforts to address the comments made during the consultation phase by clarifying under which conditions its advice applies,” said Monique Goyens, the Director General of BEUC. “This helped us to understand why EFSA and some national food safety bodies had reached different conclusions on issues such as caffeine interaction with alcohol.”

“As reflected in EFSA’s opinion, caffeine intake is clearly an issue in some EU countries, with for instance almost one-third of Danish adults consuming more than 400mg of caffeine a day.”

“The opinion also shows that 25% of teenage energy drink consumers exceed the 200mg caffeine intake limit within a short period of time. A fifth (19%) of adults who consume energy drinks on a night out or during a sport session typically ingest three or more cans. Doing so brings them also above the safe caffeine single dose.

“Now we look to the European Commission and Member States to draw the obvious conclusions,” concluded Goyens. “If we are to ensure Europeans’ caffeine intake stays within safe limits, banning food manufacturer claims on how caffeine increases endurance, alertness or concentration would seem a wise move”.