Libby urges the Conservative government to better regulate energy drinks

House of Commons
October 6, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, last year Health Canada’s expert panel on caffeinated drinks recommended the minister better regulate energy drinks.

However, instead of adopting the panel’s recommendation to curb caffeine levels, she announced the caffeine content could be over twice the acceptable level.

Why will the minister not respect these expert guidelines to protect our children’s health?

Why is the Minister of Health siding with the industry instead of telling it to stop marketing to children? Why is the minister doing this?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, we decided to take a balanced approach regarding energy drinks. It would give the parents and individuals like her more information. They can use the information to make an informed decision. We looked at all the recommendations carefully and I believe we have a plan that is balanced. It would put the health of Canadians first by giving them the information they need to make informed choices for themselves.

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois—Salaberry, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, not only did the government ignore the expert panel’s recommendations on energy drinks, but on top of that, it is going to take years to implement the changes that it is proposing. In other words, companies will have two years before they have to adjust to the new labelling rules.

I do not find these regulations particularly energetic or very beneficial for our adolescents.

Why did the government give in to the interests of the industry and bring forward such a weak plan?