Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) claim that the concoctions of caffeine and ginseng are irrational and impermissible, as per the health standards. Three companies from Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune have been cracked down.
The food safety regulators have banned the sale of few other products that has similar combinations and are categorized or promoted as fatigue reliever, alertness improver, tension and stress reliever. These beverages, available in small bottles and sachets, are generally consumed by youth as a fashion statement or health beverage.
“Adversarial effects” of concoctions of caffeine and ginseng – a compound extracted from a herb used for making Chinese medicine in tradition form, was the main reason cited by scientific panel, said FSSAI. This panel also warned that the effects can be fatal when consumed along with alcohol, as claimed by Canadian Journal of Cardiology. It warns that opposing effects has potential to trigger sudden cardiac deaths, when combined with alcohol or other drugs. FSSAI started cracking down on the manufacturers by making these letters; it sent these companies, public on its own website.
There are concerns raised by health activists regarding the regulation of ingredients of energy drinks in India. Caffeine content is the main concern. Generally caffeine content is regulated in carbonated beverages – 145 parts per million (ppm); however, for energy drinks there are no such regulations. In some of them, the content was as high as 320 ppm. Activists claimed that such drinks have high doses of caffeine and it can lead to serious adverse effects on health in long term.
FSSAI crack down came when the health activists were raising strong voice regarding ingredients regulation in such beverages. This crack down led to immediate ban of – Monster and Absolutely Zero manufactured by Monster Energy of India; Cloud 9 in different flavors made by Pushpam Foods & Beverages; Tzinga Lemon Mint, Tzinga Tropal Trip and Tzinga Mango Strawberry manufactured by Hector Beverages. In the notices sent out to these three companies, the dictum stated immediate stoppage of manufacture, sale and distribution.
A team of researchers and doctors have cautioned the about effects of such drinks on heart. In the paper published researchers have told that it is important to consult cardiologists before consumption. Cardiologists in Mumbai strongly support the research results. They claim that mixing caffeine, ginseng and alcohol or drugs have lead to cardiac arrests in young and healthy individuals. They urge the people to understand the lack of regulations on these high caffiene level beverages; and insist that parents should advise their children against its consumption. Further, cardiologists in Mumbai insist that there should be warning on the labels that “Consumption of energy drinks is risk to life.”