• 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
Réunion's plane debris to be probed in France
Policeman and gendarmes with the piece of unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion. Photo: AFP

Réunion's plane debris to be probed in France

UPDATED: Plane wreckage that washed up on a tiny Indian Ocean island will be sent to France for investigation, as hopes mounted Thursday the mysterious object could unlock the riddle of missing flight MH370. READ  

Migrant dies in botched Eurotunnel crossing
Ten migrants have died at the Calais post in the past two months. Photo: AFP

Migrant dies in botched Eurotunnel crossing

French authorities said on Thursday that a migrant had died from head injuries suffered in a weekend attempt to cross the Channel into England, bringing the number of such deaths to ten since June. READ  

France's Réunion braces for volcano eruption
‘The Peak of the Furnace’ has been spewing out more gases than usual. Photo: Richard Bouhet /AFP

France's Réunion braces for volcano eruption

Le Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world and a main tourist attraction on the Réunion island, was evacuated Thursday as authorities warned of an imminent eruption. READ  

Ten things you didn't know about gay Paris
Do you know where to find penis-shaped bakery goods in Paris? Photo: Legay Choc/Facebook

Ten things you didn't know about gay Paris

There's a lot more to the gay scene in Paris than just the Marais - so we asked the experts at The Gay Locals to come up with a list of ten things you probably didn't know about Gay Paris. READ  

French mayor 'to force artists to mind kids'
The National Front mayor in Fréjus doesn’t feel the town hasn’t received enough in return from the artists. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/ AFP

French mayor 'to force artists to mind kids'

A far-right mayor in the southern town of Fréjus is allegedly considering making a group of local artists mind children in exchange for the rent subsidies they receive. READ  

British press bashes France over Calais crisis
The British press is blaming France for the situation in Calais. Photo: Philippe Huguen/ AFP

British press bashes France over Calais crisis

British tabloids combined two of their favourite themes in covering the Calais migrants controversy Thursday -- French bashing and railing against the government response to illegal immigration. READ  

French nuclear giant Areva to sell unit to EDF
The headquarters of the French nuclear group Areva in La Defense near ParisPhoto: AFP

French nuclear giant Areva to sell unit to EDF

Atomic energy giant Areva on Thursday agreed to sell a majority stake of its nuclear reactor unit to electricity group EDF as part of an awaited reconfiguration of the French sector. READ  

Ex-Sarkozy advisor charged in fraud probe
French former President Nicolas Sarkozy and Patrick Buisson. Photo: AFP

Ex-Sarkozy advisor charged in fraud probe

A one-time advisor to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was charged on Wednesday with abusing his position to profit from state funds, as part of an inquiry into alleged fraud in awarding contracts to opinion polling companies. READ  

French far right wants Le Pen senior gone
Jean-Marie Le Pen. Photo: AFP

French far right wants Le Pen senior gone

An overwhelming 94 percent of France's National Front (FN) members have voted in favour of stripping ex-leader Jean-Marie Le Pen of his title of honorary president, the far-right party announced Wednesday. READ  

France eyes boost to holiday leave rights
People enjoy the sun by the seaside on a beach in the French Mediterranean resort of Argeles-sur-Mer, southern France. Photo: AFP

France eyes boost to holiday leave rights

Most new employees at French firms have to work for at least a year before they can take paid holidays but that could be about to change if one group of MPs have their way. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Learn more about the Bayonne festival - France's wildest party
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Features
What to see and do at the Paris Plages this summer
Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
Take a closer look at the 560,000-year-old tooth found in France
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
National
'B**ch' and 'brainless': French shop slurs clients
Travel
French cops rebel over order to give kids sweets
National
New measures to stop migrant deaths in Calais
Travel
Here are some of the most ridiculous comments you'll read about France
Features
Life may be about to get easier for expats settling in France
National
Burning tyres and blocking roads is just the way the French do strikes
National
Muslim tourists visiting French Alps are reminded of burqa ban
Opinion
Slim and chic: Are French women fed up of the stereotypes?
French officials defend handing public beach over to Saudi royals
Society
French kiss: Should expats in France do 'la bise' among themselves?
National
Paris commuters and tourists face summer of travel trouble
This man learnt the entire French vocabulary in nine weeks, but why?
French speed cameras snare tens of thousands of British drivers
Gallery
What kind of expat in France are you: A lover or a loather?
Society
French tweeters reveal the trials and tribulations of #GrowingupFrench
Where to find the best (and worst) quality of life in France
National
Riviera rumpus as Saudi royals grab public beach all for themselves
What we know about France's foiled terror plot
Features
Here are ten places in Paris where you can escape the summer heat
National
Coup d'état fails in France after being snubbed by military
Are shoppers in northern France the most honest in the world?
French woman fined €90 for driving in flip-flops
Cyclists in Paris get the green light to jump red
'Adieu France': Angry mum's parting rant goes viral
Franco-German rift opens over Greece and it could take time to heal
The Megavalanche: The most spectacular cycling event in France
Ex-French PM's daughter creates a buzz by going topless for photo shoot
Could Parisians be bathing in the Seine by 2024?
Paris unveils new mobile app to help non-French speakers
France declares war on public transport sex pests
So where's the best place to live in France if you want to be happy?
Opinion
Paris: The City of Light, Romance, Style and the worst loos in Europe?
National
Eight ways living in France will change your lifestyle for good
International
Why French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Ten ideas that could improve the quality of life in Paris
National
Rules for taking selfies at the Eiffel Tower: No.1 Keep your clothes on
National
Paris's trendy Canal Saint-Martin is now more tip than hip
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

3,645
jobs available