The ministry of trade and Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has moved to rid the Ugandan market of all uncertified energy drinks that are not fit for human consumption.
The move comes a weeks after Kasanbya MP Hon. Gaffa Mbwa Tekamwa raised a concern in parliament over mushrooming energy drinks on the market which might affect the health of Ugandans.
In her statement to parliament over the matter during a plenary sitting on Tuesday, trade and cooperatives Minister Hon. Amelia Kyambadde noted that UNBS’s market surveillance teams indeed spotted brands of energy drinks that have illegally accessed the Ugandan market. She said the factories producing uncertified energy drinks face closure.
According to the statement, UNBS certified brands are; Power Play, Riham Rock Boom, Riham X Energy, Thunder, Yake, Sting, Gold Rush, Sting Red Rush., Kaazi Booster, and Canan Bulls. The minister however noted that imported brands like Red Bull, Monster, Rock Star, and Full-Throttle are tested for conformity to standard at the point of origin under pre-export verification program.
In January 2019, a consumer lodged a complaint with National Drug Authority (NDA) that Natural Power SX energy drink made by a Zambian company known as Revin Zambia caused him an erection for nearly six hours; a condition that left him experiencing an abnormal heart beat and constant sweating after taking a drink.
Hon. Kyambadde affirmed that by Ugandan standard, energy drinks are classified as soft, non alcoholic carbonated drinks which contain vitamins and psychoactive substance caffeine or taurine whose continuous use may cause unpleasant physical and mental conditions.
” Caffeine is highly addictive, cause’s restlessness, sleep disorder and even death in rare cases.” She said.
She however noted that UNBS has developed and uses a standard US472011 specification for caffeinated energy drinks in order to ensure safety and standard.
The Ugandan standard on the amount of caffeine in energy drinks is at 320mgl and the same standard specifies labeling requirements including a warning to the consumer that the product is not suitable for children, pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffeine.