There is plenty of evidence for an energy drinks ban

energy drink cans

Sir, We read your article in response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report (‘An energy drinks ban without evidence would set a dangerous precedent’, thegrocer.co.uk, 4 December) with great alarm.

There is a wealth of evidence on the harms of energy drinks to children and young people. Comparing banning these drinks to banning Justin Bieber is flippant. Since March 2018, a number of retailers have voluntarily banned the sale of these products to under-16s. However, we know from our research that these drinks are widely and cheaply available from other outlets. A sales restriction would create a level playing field.

We find the Select Committee’s response lacking in an understanding of what evidence it is possible to collect. The kind of quantitative evidence you and they indicate would be required is unethical and would never be funded.

It is precisely this body of evidence that has given rise to major societal concerns about children’s consumption of energy drinks in the UK too, and there is enough evidence to adopt a similar law in the UK.

Governments can and should invoke the precautionary principle when there is any outstanding scientific uncertainty.

Amelia A Lake RD RNutr (Public Health) PhD, reader in public health nutrition, Teesside University; Shelina Visram PhD, senior lecturer in public health, Newcastle University; Professor Amandine Garde, Law & NCD Unit, University of Liverpool.

Andy Burman, CEO, British Dietetic Association

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