Expatica news

Red Bull escapes Dutch caffeine ban

13 February 2004

AMSTERDAM – There is no reason to ban energy drink Red Bull, according to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA).

The drink was banned in France recently on medical grounds, and Sweden and Denmark have also stopped domestic sales of the popular drink.

Earlier this week, the Dutch Health Ministry said it would first examine the pros and cons of the situation before following the French lead.  A ministry spokesman said VWA will then draw up a risk analysis.

The authority has since said that there are no grounds to follow the French example. It conceded that Red Bull contained a relatively large caffeine content, but that the levels were not harmful.

The French ban is based on that country’s food laws, which stipulate a different maximum allowed caffeine content.

Energy drinks contain substances — usually caffeine or Taurine — which help the body unlock more energy. One can of Red Bull contains about one-and-a-half times the caffeine found in a cup of coffee.

Taurine is an amino acid-like compound and a component of bile acids, which are used to help absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Taurine also helps regulate the heart beat, maintain cell membrane stability and prevent brain cell over-activity.

It is found in meat, fish and small doses are injected by babies who are breast-fed. Drinking a 500ml can of an energy drink provides 10 times the normal level of taurine that a person usually ingests.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news