• France edition
 
Avoid Vodka Red Bull, French watchdog advises
France's health watchdog has advised against mixing energy drinks with alcohol. Photo: Hommard.net/Flickr

Avoid Vodka Red Bull, French watchdog advises

Published: 01 Oct 2013 12:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Oct 2013 16:00 GMT+02:00

France has long regarded energy drinks with suspicion, and a new report released by the country’s health watchdog on Tuesday once again reveals authorities' misgivings towards beverages like Red Bull, Monster and Burn.

“Fini la vodka-Red Bull” was how one French news site summed up the report by France ‘s health watchdog ANSES (Agence nationale de securité sanitaire d’alimentation) which looked into the health risks of energy drinks.

ANSES had been tasked to look into the possible adverse health effects of the energy drinks, which on average contain an amount of caffeine equivalent to two standard espressos, AFP reports.

With figures showing nearly nine million French people consume around 40 million litres of the drinks each year, ANSES’ conclusions will not make happy reading for industry chiefs.

ANSES says, due to high caffeine content, the drinks should not be mixed with alcohol, or consumed during intensive sporting activity. Adolescents are also advised to avoid the beverages altogether, because of potentially harmful consequences to their health.

Pregnant women and children have already been advised against consuming the drinks over health concerns.

For the full report CLICK HERE

Reacting to the report France’s consumer rights organisation CLCV called for advertising for energy drinks to be banned from sporting events and stronger rules on labelling to be enforced.

“The risks posed by the inappropriate use of these products requires a strengthening of the rules around labelling. There should be clearly visible warnings to discourage children and reminders that they are not designed for those involved in physical effort and that they should not be mixed with alcohol," CLCV said in a statement.

“We also ask for the levels of caffeine to be regulated to prevent them from reaching the levels seen in the United States. We should remind ourselves that in America energy drinks are responsible for a rise in the number of cases of caffeine intoxication and they increase the likelihood of binge drinking among young people," the organisation added.

Drinks like Red Bull were banned in France in their original recipes for 12 years over fears of adverse health effects. That ban was only lifted in 2008 when France bowed to European regulations that stipulated they should be allowed to be sold, in the absence of any proof that they are harmful.

France remained cautious, however, and then Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot asked that the drinks be kept under surveillance, and that the public be informed of their possible undesirable effects.

In its latest report on Tuesday, ANSES claims that consumption by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers can lead to delays in foetal growth. It also advises people with heart, psychological or neurological disorders to avoid the energy drinks, as well as those suffering from renal disease or liver failure.

If young people consume the drinks in excessive quantities it can lead to sleep disorders, ANSES claims, as well as a risk the adolescent will develop addictions to other substances.

According to the health watchdog, 257 cases of people having adverse reactions to the drink were reported, of which 212 could be analysed.

The chances that energy drinks were the cause of the adverse effects was judged “likely or very likely” in 25 percent of cases, Deputy Director of ANSES Franck Fourès told AFP.

The study comes just weeks after reports in France that the government plans to introduce a special tax on energy drinks.

The tax would be aimed at discouraging young people from consuming the drinks and would allegedly pull in €12.5 million for state coffers.

The finance ministry has not confirmed the reports, but Health Minister Marisol Touraine has vowed to investigate the possibility that the advertising of energy drinks can be better regulated.

Don't miss stories like this - join us on Facebook and Twitter

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Football star set for court after headbutt
PSG's Thiago Motta (L) was left with a bloody nose after an incident with Brandao (R). Photo: AFP

Football star set for court after headbutt

VIDEO: SC Bastia's Brazilian striker Brandao was held in custody for several hours on Friday and will face charges following his headbutt on Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Motta, a court source told AFP. READ  

Ask The Experts - Job Hunting
Six quick tips for finding a job in France
Ask the experts: Six quick tips for landing a job in France. Photo: Shutterstock

Six quick tips for finding a job in France

What it takes to find work in France is a bit different than back home, so The Local has gathered six quick tips from a French recruitment expert on what Anglos need to do to land that job. READ  

Islamic State
Iraq: 'The jihadists raped women and children'
Iraqi Christian refugees who fled the violence in their country reunite with relatives residing in France upon their arrival in Paris on August 21, 2014. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Iraq: 'The jihadists raped women and children'

Iraqi refugees who landed in France this week spoke of the horror as Islamic extremists rampaged through their homeland "raping women and children". READ  

Choosing a school
International vs French schools: How to decide?
Expat parents need to weigh up whether to send the kids to local or international school. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

International vs French schools: How to decide?

Put your kids in the local French state school system or shell out for an international school? It’s the choice that many expat parents in France have to make. But is there a right option? We've asked the parents. READ  

Ebola: Cabin crew told to boycott Air France flights
More pressure on Air France to scrap flights to Ebola hit countries. Photo: AFP

Ebola: Cabin crew told to boycott Air France flights

Pressure mounted on Air France to suspend flights to West Africa on Friday when a trade union called on cabin crew to refuse to board planes to Ebola hit countries. It comes after panic spread through a Paris flight earlier this week. READ  

Crook uses 3D printer to steal thousands
Is that ATM facade real or was it printed at home by a crook? Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP

Crook uses 3D printer to steal thousands

Three-dimensional printers are not always used to positive effect. A criminal in southern France managed to use one to steal thousands of euros from bank users, it emerged this week. READ  

France drinks to bumper 2014 wine harvest
France is set for a much better wine harvest than last year. Photo: Jean Louis Zimmerman/Flickr

France drinks to bumper 2014 wine harvest

There was some much-needed good cheer for France on Friday when winegrowers predicted a successful 2014. With over 6 million bottles set to be produced this year, there should be enough to go round. Although there was bad news for another crop. READ  

Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Ten ways expats in France can drive you mad. Can you guess what this one is about? Photo: Shutterstock

Ten ways expats in France drive you mad

This week The Local France has been asking readers about the things their fellow countrymen and women do that embarrass them or drive them mad. Needless to say we’ve had plenty of responses. READ  

France welcomes 40 Iraqi Christian refugees
The first of hundreds of Iraqi refugees have arrived in France. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

France welcomes 40 Iraqi Christian refugees

Some 40 Iraqi Christians were flown into Paris on Thursday as they seek refuge from the Islamic extremists who have captured the northern reaches of Iraq. French authorities expect to receive hundreds more. READ  

French pensioner told to prove he is alive
"Prove your alive" the bureaurats told one French pensioner. Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

French pensioner told to prove he is alive

A retired Frenchman became embroiled in bureaucratic nightmare after he was denied a refund through his state health insurance on the grounds he was dead. He has been asked to prove otherwise. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
Choosing schools in France: Do you go international or French?
Gallery
From kissing to bad-mouthing: Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Culture
Ten things you need to know about the Liberation of Paris:
Travel
Watch this impressive time lapse video and you'll want to move to Paris
National
Veiled Muslim woman on a French beach prompts politician's angry rant
Travel
Forget Paris and Provence where are the least touristy areas of France?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The battle to liberate Paris from the Nazis
National
What France means to you in just one tweet
National
15 French 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
12 reasons to invest in Paris and seven not to
National
French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change
National
French tourist caught in Pompeii brothel romp
International
'Forget the Anglo-media's image of France, the reality is much different'
Culture
VIDEO: Francophile Robin Williams enjoyed poking fun at the French
Travel
Six reasons why France is the world's top tourist destination
International
Remembering the 'forgotten campaign' in the liberation of France
Gallery
VIDEO: French bucket list - The 12 best things to do in France
International
Do three French cities deserve to be in top 10 "World 's Most Unfriendly"?
Gallery
Don't make a faux pas! Ten things not to do when working in France
Health
Ebola: What is the risk of it coming to France?
Health
Are the French really a nation of smokers?
Culture
Frightened by the prospect of long French dinners? You're not alone
National
'Stay in Paris in August? You'd have to be crazy'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se