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Parliamentary questions
PDF 102kWORD 19k
14 September 2017
Question for written answer E-005722-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Biljana Borzan (S&D)

 Subject:  Energy drinks — warning for children and pregnant women
 Answer in writing 

An average can of energy drink contains 27 g of sugar and 80 mg of caffeine. The connection between children and energy drinks is problematic at multiple levels. It primarily refers to a high sugar intake, which negatively affects obesity, a major issue in Europe. Another problem includes the consumption of caffeine, a substance whose effect on a child’s development is yet to be thoroughly explored. The third problem includes the formation of taste in children, that is, creating a habit to an extremely sweet drink. The fourth problem is mixing hard drinks and energy drinks, which is very popular among teenagers.

Manufacturers claim that they do not address children in their advertisements, but teenagers are among the biggest consumers of these drinks, and children under the age of 12 increasingly consume them. A total of 68% of adolescents and 18% of children consume energy drinks. The information that 40% of children and young people who drink energy drinks do so because they allegedly need energy shows us that they are misguided by advertising.

Energy drinks in the EU bear the warning that they are not recommended for children and pregnant women. But those warnings are mainly poorly visible due to their position, size and other factors.

1. Does the Commission have a legal basis for laying down mandatory features of warnings, such as size, position and font?2. Does the Commission plan to regulate mandatory features of warnings, such as size, position and font?

Original language of question: HR 
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