• France's news in English
 

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spying bill
Five dangers of France's new snooping laws
Protesters demonstrate in Paris against the government's controversial bill giving spies sweeping new surveillance powers. Photo: AFP

Five dangers of France's new snooping laws

French MPs are set to overwhelmingly give their backing to a bill that will grant intelligence services sweeping new surveillance powers in the name of fighting terrorism. Here’s five reasons why opponents of the bill say we should all be concerned. READ  

French patient left blind after stomach operation
A court will determine if the hospital is guilty of medical malpractice. Photo: Monash/Flickr

French patient left blind after stomach operation

A woman who went to hospital for what was meant to be a routine stomach operation was left blind, with her family now suing for damages to the tune of €2 million. READ  

National Front feud
Le Pen: I don't want my daughter to be president
Jean-Marie Le Pen at the party's May Day rally. Photo: AFP

Le Pen: I don't want my daughter to be president

After being suspended by France's far-right National Front, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen on Tuesday hit back at its current leader, his daughter, saying it would be "scandalous" if she were to be elected president of France. READ  

Video reveals the dirty underbelly of Cannes
The scene below the sea in Cannes, southern France. Photo: Facebook/Screenshot

Video reveals the dirty underbelly of Cannes

An amateur diver has stolen the show a week ahead of the Cannes Film Festival's launch after he took a camera under the sea and showed the polluted wasteland that lurks beneath the surface of the French Riviera. READ  

France tells migrants 'forget UK and stay here'
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve meets migrants in Calais on Monday. Photo: AFP

France tells migrants 'forget UK and stay here'

France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has urged the hundreds of migrants living in squalid make-shift camps in Calais to forget about going to the UK and seek asylum in France. READ  

France: Second patient dies in artificial heart trial
The artificial heart from Carmat. Photo: AFP

France: Second patient dies in artificial heart trial

The second person in France to receive a much-hyped new-generation artificial heart has died eight months after receiving the transplant, biomedical firm Carmat said Tuesday. READ  

French MPs set to back new spying powers
Lawmakers in the Assembly National are set set to OK a controversial spy bill. Photo: AFP

French MPs set to back new spying powers

French MPs are set to give the green light to a new law on Tuesday that will grant the state sweeping powers to spy on its citizens despite criticism from rights groups that the bill is vague and intrusive. READ  

National Front in crisis
Le Pen senior suspended from National Front
Jean-Marie Le Pen has been suspended from the party his daughter now leads. Photo: AFP

Le Pen senior suspended from National Front

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France's far-right National Front was temporarily suspended from the party on Monday and he may yet lose his title as honorary president. READ  

School paedophile case leads to new French law
Police officers stand in front of "Le Mas de la Raz" primary school in Villefontaine, where the head teacher sexually assaulted students. Photo: AFP

School paedophile case leads to new French law

The French government announced the creation of a new law on Monday aimed at preventing a repeat of a scandal that saw a convicted sex offender land a job as headteacher of a school, where he later raped 11 pupils. READ  

Weather Warning
Violent storms set to sweep across France
Photo: AFP

Violent storms set to sweep across France

Severe weather warnings were put in place for a huge swathe of France on Monday with violent storms set to sweep across the country from west to east. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Why all the dodgy ties? A French view of the UK general election
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in May
National
French teen suicide after sex video web bullying
International
France bags another fighter jet deal but should Paris thank the US?
Migrant camps spring up in the heart of Paris
Culture
Only in France? Naked comedian stuns French culture minister
France launches bid to buy Europe's biggest and most spectacular dune
Business & Money
Why May 2015 is the best month in years to work in France
Five great outdoor bars in Paris to check out this summer
Society
French elevator protocol: Greeting, flirting and yes, even sex
National
France goes on the defensive after UN experts say 'racism is trivialised'
Double standards? French Muslim barred from class over long skirt
Travel
Getting from CDG airport to Paris by road should now be a lot quicker
International
The French don't seem to care about the UK election and that's normal
France may produce the most wine, but who drinks the most?
National
Why do the French have such a sorry record for recycling?
7Up row could see French language enforced on all flights to Canada
Culture
Take a peek inside France's newest, but oldest tourist attraction
National
How to disguise the fact you are clearly not French
France desperately hunts for church terror plot accomplices
WARNING - When in France use first names with caution
Can France really protect 4,500 churches around the country?
So what does the world's oldest bubbly taste like?
British expats left in lurch by NHS clampdown
Tossing cigarette butts in Paris to prompt €68 fines
Culture
Cannes Film Festival reveals jury
Flamanville: France's nuclear 'calamity' that has the UK worried
Features
Forget the Mona Lisa, here are the weirdest objects you can see in Paris
For many Britons 'Waterloo' is just an Abba song or a train station
IN PICTURES: See the French ship 'Hermione' set sail again for the US
Opinion
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
National
Marine Le Pen makes Time 'most influential' list
National
Sexual harassment rife on Paris trains
Cannes Film Festival line-up revealed
National
Cartoonist's book slams 'Islamophobia swindlers'
National
More French women than men lured by Isis
Society
Les Entrepreneurs: We chat with the founder of Paris Picnic
National
Edith Piaf celebrated at Parisian show
National
Spain's newest export to France: Vultures
How the health reforms will change life in France
Gallery
Naked protests: The French love to take their clothes off to make a point
Travel
Lille: France's most underrated city?
Opinion
Why the French should be very worried about new spying powers
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

?>