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Lithuania Bans The Sale Of Energy Drinks To Minors

Published on May 20 2014 10:50 AM in Drinks

Lithuania Bans The Sale Of Energy Drinks To Minors

Selling energy drinks to people under the age of 18 will soon be illegal in Lithuania.

The country's parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ban the sale of highly caffeinated beverages such as Monster and Red Bull to minors, making it the first European country to enact such a ban. 

The ban, which includes non-alcoholic beverages containing more than 150 milligrams per litre of caffeine, will take effect in November. It also applies to beverages containing a range of stimulants like guarana, ginsenosides, glucuronolactone, and taurine.

The Lithuanian health ministry said it was setting a precedent within the EU.

"According to our survey, a majority of other nations say that they only have recommendations in place, not bans," ministry official Almantas Kranauskas told AFP.

"I think it will serve as an impetus for other countries. Many of them are still hesitating and might be influenced by the lucrative energy drinks industry."

Critics do claim the ban might have a negative influence on the soft drinks industry in Lithuania.

"It is wrong to think that these restrictions could be conducive to improving business conditions. It will trigger significant chaos and huge costs," liberal lawmaker Eugenijus Gentvilas said.

MP Alma Monkauskaite objected to the arguments that coffee should be considered for restriction as well, saying that energy drinks contain up to ten times more caffeine than coffee.

In the United Kingdom, companies will soon be required to label drinks with more than 150 milligrams per liter of caffeine. German consumer protection agencies have also called for tighter controls on energy drinks.

© 2014 - European Supermarket Magazine by Enda Dowling

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