On June 26th, Health Canada released new and anxiously awaited draft regulations on caffeinated energy drinks (CEDs) and Supplemented Foods (SFs). The proposed changes to the regulations governing these products would lead to confusion for consumers and make it more difficult for the beverage industry to do business in Canada. These rules are inconsistent with any other rules governing food, beverages or health-care products in the country. The proposed regulations appear to deviate from regulatory norms of Canada’s trading partners, which may have trade implications down the road. Furthermore, the changes would create a stigma around beverages that Canadians have purchased and safely consumed for years, and limit consumers’ ability to make informed choices based on accurate, consistent labelling information backed by scientific research.
Concern about the proposed regulations can be broken down into several areas and have implications both on consumers looking to purchase CEDs/SFs and on convenience stores selling these products.