UAE bans sale of energy drinks to children and heart patients

The UAE is to ban the sale of energy drinks with high levels of caffeine to children under 16, pregnant women and people with heart conditions, UAE daily newspaper Gulf News reported on Tuesday.

Distributors found breaching the new laws will face fines of between 10,000 AED ($2,722.50) and 35,000 AED, or even face jail.

Starting August 1, it will be illegal for these groups, which also include sportspeople, to buy or be sold energy drinks containing more than 32mg of caffeine per 100ml – less than a cup of coffee, the newspaper added.

Shops will be required to carry warning signs and store and sell the drinks separately from all others. The containers will also have to carry similar messages.

Random checks will be carried out by the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (Esma), which will test samples of the products before issuing the manufacturer with a certificate of conformity, the report explained.

“Energy drinks have high risk elements for people who drink them and currently there are no unified standards on the level of its ingredients like caffeine and taurine. We have already informed the distributors and producers and from August 1 that the products coming to the market will have to comply with the new standards.” Mohammad Saleh Badri, Director General of Esma told the newspaper.

“We will do random checks on the products regularly and if the drinks fail the tests, companies will be penalised heavily,” he added.

Although an espresso shot contains 77mg of caffeine, compared to 32mg in a can of Red Bull - the newspaper claims - the new rules will limit the canned energy drinks to no more than 32mg per 100ml tin.

The regulations extend to other ingredients commonly found in these products, which Badri said prevent these drinks from being classified either as food or medicine, the newspaper added.

Distributors will have until the end of the year to clear previously packaged products, as long as they comply with the new laws.

The report did not say whether individuals from any one of these groups would face penalties for purchasing or consuming the products.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting