Legislation underway to prohibit sale of energy drinks in school zones

The local market for energy drinks which contain large amounts of caffeine has grown remarkably over the past two years, but is expected to face regulations due to health risks.

Rep. Choi Dong-ic of the main opposition Democratic United Party is gathering fellow lawmakers' support to submit a revised bill next month to ban the sale of energy drinks near schools to limit children's access to the caffeinated beverages which are classified as soda under current rules.

"The bill calls for applying on the so-called energy drinks, or high-caffeine beverages, the same level of restrictions against high-calorie, low-nutrition foods which ban sales within 200 meters from schools and their television commercials during children's primetime," an aide to Rep. Choi told The Korea Herald.

Countries like France, Denmark, Norway and Argentina have banned sales of energy drinks, and the state of New York has launched an investigation into whether the makers of energy drinks are misleading consumers about the amount of caffeine they contain or the health risks they could pose.

According to reports on Tuesday, the New York attorney general in July subpoenaed the three companies that make 5-Hour Energy, Monster and AMP as his office investigates whether they violated federal law in promoting the drinks as dietary supplements rather than as foods, which are regulated more strictly.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage is set to start importing Monster, the world's second-bestselling energy drink after Austria's Red Bull, to the Korean market soon.

Korea has no regulations on the energy drinks, a term coined by the industry, other than requiring companies to mark "high-caffeine" on products that contain 150 milligrams or more of caffeine and add a warning for children, pregnant women and people sensitive to caffeine under a law that goes into effect in January.

The Korea Food and Drug Administration has no plans to look into whether the ingredients of the energy drinks are properly disclosed, according to Hwang Sung-hwi, the administration's director of food safety policy.

"The World Health Organisation continues to assess the toxicity of caffeine, which is categorized as an additive, but its harmfulness has not officially been proven yet," Hwang said.

"But since high doses of caffeine can cause shakes or other side effects in people with weak immune systems, the 'high-caffeine' labeling and the warning will be mandatory under the new rule. We are monitoring developments related to energy drinks around the world, and will take necessary steps once caffeine is confirmed to be harmful."

Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Lotte Chilsung's Hot Six and Coca Cola's Burn Intense are widely consumed by high school and college students, especially during exam periods, as well as workers who want to stay awake.

Mixtures of energy drinks with sports drinks and powdered vitamin C, known as "boong-boong drinks," are also popular among adolescents here.

Sales of energy drinks in Korea jumped over 960 per cent from a year ago to 39 billion won ($34.4 million) in the first seven months of this year thanks to the explosive sales of Red Bull, which has been imported since August last year.

With energy drinks becoming the beverage makers' top-selling items, food companies and even pharmaceutical firms are jumping on the bandwagon.

Hot Six, Red Bull and Samsung Pharm's Ya simply have "high-caffeine" marked on the cans without disclosing the amount of caffeine they contain. Monster, which is yet to be formally imported, is traded at 5,000 won per 475-milliliter can in Namdaemun Market with no indication on the amount of caffeine.

Rep. Choi said in a parliamentary health committee meeting last month that Red Bull, Hot Six and Hot Six Limited Edition contain 62.5, 60 and 86.4 milligrams of caffeine, respectively, much higher than the nation's beloved health tonic Bacchus (30 milligrams).

In Korea, children weighing 30 kilograms are recommended not to consume more than 75 milligrams of caffeine per day, and adults 400 milligrams.

Health advocates worldwide have voiced concerns over the use of energy drinks among teenagers, particularly when they are consumed with alcohol.

"Energy drinks which contain high levels of caffeine as well as taurine are bad for teenagers' health and can cause them to feel anxious, overly sensitive or emotionally disturbed," said Huh Hye-yeon, a staff member of Green Consumer Network in Korea.

"There should be warnings on the products that excessive intake by adolescents can be dangerous."

Purchase this article for republication.

VIDEOS YOU SHOULD WATCH

  • #Joeyjios: We try bubble tea mala hotpot and bubble tea toast

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/food/we-try-bubble-tea-mala-hotpot-and-bubble-tea-toast-guess-which-ones-got-us-hooked Mala and bubble milk tea within the same hotpot? What about bubble tea on toast? Who even comes up with these ideas?! This week on #Joeyjios, we give these dubious food creations a taste-test to see if they're worth your time, money and calories. #bubbletea #bbt #boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Thirstdays: Where we talk weird dates and wild fantasies

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/entertainment/thirstdays-where-we-talk-weird-dates-and-wild-fantasies Ooo, it's been a hot week and the thirst is real at AsiaOne. Join Le En and Bryan as they chat about weird dates, constant 'cravings', and Beyonce's thigh gap! And they are quenching that thirst with a cup of root beer float to celebrate the return of a certain fast food restaurant. Thirstdays is a fortnightly AsiaOne #entertainment series where our hosts Le En and Bryan give you a peek into their personal lives while they satisfy their thirst over a drink, have a no-holds-barred chat, and do fun things. #gossip #confessions #realness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep4: He beats people up, but for the country

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-delinquent-national-wrestler He used to beat people up, simply because he had "too much energy" to expend. Now, he still beats people up - but for the country. Meet 24-year-old #Singapore national wrestler Toh Xin Ran. Seeing the number of medals that he has been awarded and the respectful manner in which he now interacts with his wrestling coach, it is hard to imagine that Xin Ran used to be a troubled kid in his younger days. #wrestling #sportsman --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: Taste-testing The Alley Luxe and CHICHA San Chen

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/food/alley-luxe-and-chicha-san-chen-opens-week-heres-what-try A Michelin-standard bubble tea for $4.70? A drink that looks like the Northern Lights? This week, #Joeyjios her colleague Le En to check out two new bubble tea (BBT) stores that are opening along Orchard Road. Which will they prefer? Watch to find out. #Thedeerishere #TheAlley #Chichasanchen #Boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 5: Bosses and Things

    It’s been a few weeks - let’s find out if the higher-ups of AsiaOne have any regrets about hiring Le En. Efforts were made to make nice, charity is involved and work is never-ending still. Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: DIY your way into mum's heart this Mother's Day

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/women/joeyjios-diy-your-way-mums-heart-mothers-day Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Have you gotten mum a gift yet? This week on #Joeyjios, Joey tries her hand at DIY projects that’s thoughtful, useful and inexpensive. #Mothersday #DIY --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep3: He 'sees' the world with the help of tech

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-he-may-be-blind-he-can-text-faster-you Edwin Khoo, 43, surprises friends with the speed at which he types on his phone. The reason? He's been blind since birth. But #technology has been the game-changer for Edwin in navigating the world around him despite his #disability, allowing him to #travel and even host his own online #podcast. --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 4: The Dress Code

    It’s in the employee handbook - but does ANYONE actually read and follow the dress code? Are calves too scandalous? Le En puts on Athleisure and tries to get away with it! Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Caryn Cheng finds the best deals at IMM's Greater Savings Home and Furnishing Sale

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/5-couples-share-most-expensive-items-they-have-ever-bought-their-home AsiaOne challenges Caryn Cheng to find the best deals at the upcoming #IMM Greater Savings Home and Furnishing #Sale. IMM's Greater Savings Home & Furnishing Sale will start May 13 to 19. With 20 per cent off storewide at Best Denki and discounts of up to 50 per cent at stores such as INKAGU Outlet by Picket & Rail, Linen Gallery Outlet and Red Apple from May 17 to 19, this epic sale is not to be missed. Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601 Opening hours: 10am to 10pm #brandedcontent --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: I try a ballet-inspired workout despite my two left feet

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/joeyjios-i-try-ballet-inspired-workout-despite-my-two-left-feet Tendu, Arabesque and Grand Pliés? This week on #Joeyjios, I found out that these are in fact, not edible food dishes, but dance moves in ballet.  Watch as former professional ballerinas and co-founders of #BalletBody, Lisha Chin and Alison Carroll, take me through a snippet of their hour-long ballet-inspired workout while I try my best to keep up.  #Ballet #Barre #Fitness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com

SERVICES