Mr. Speaker, with regard to a) Energy drinks are currently regulated as natural health products, NHPs, in Canada. To market NHPs in Canada, companies must first obtain the necessary product and site licences required under the Natural Health Products Regulations by submitting evidence demonstrating that their product is safe, effective and of high quality. The product must also carry detailed label information to allow consumers to make safe and informed choices. Only NHPs that are supported by adequate levels of evidence and carry appropriate labels are authorized for sale and issued a product licence. Health Canada does not regulate the place of sale, including age restrictions, for sale; only the provinces have that ability. Health Canada is responsible for assessing and authorizing natural health products prior to their sale in Canada to help assure that they are safe, effective, of high quality. All energy drinks licensed by Health Canada clearly state that they are not recommended for children.
With regard to b) If, after energy drink products are licensed by Health Canada, it is discovered that they are being sold or marketed in contravention of the conditions of sale outlined in the product licence or the Food and Drugs Act and the Natural Health Products Regulations, appropriate compliance action will be taken by the Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate in accordance with the NHP compliance policy and the Health Product and Food Branch, HPFB, compliance and enforcement policy, POL-0001.
With regard to c) Currently, energy drinks are classified as natural health products because they meet the substance and function components of the NHP definition. Health Canada is continuing to monitor the use of energy drinks and will take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of Canadians. Part of this includes an assessment of new information provided to the Department, such as the reports of adverse events associated with the consumption of energy drinks and other scientific literature. Results of this assessment will inform the development of additional risk mitigation strategies which may include the development of additional cautionary statements on product labels with regard to who should not consume them and known adverse effects and a review of the most appropriate regulatory framework for these products.
With regard to d) Energy drinks currently approved for sale in Canada must contain the following dose and caution and warning statements: dose not to exceed 400 mg/day of caffeine; not recommended for caffeine-sensitive persons, children, pregnant or breastfeeding women; and, do not use with alcohol. Health Canada is developing a new labelling standard for all energy drinks sold in Canada. The new labelling standard will add certain risk statements and reword some existing ones for clarity. This standard will help ensure consumers understand the potential risks and the benefits of taking these products, and have the information they need to make an informed decision about their use.
With regard to e ) A communications package is being developed for the release of the new labelling standard. It will include an update to the “It’s Your Health on the Safety of Energy Drinks”, as well as an Information Update on the new labelling standard.