The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde has provided a list of certified energy drinks and their contents to parliament.
Energy drinks are soft drinks containing high percentage of sugar, caffeine, or another stimulant, typically consumed during or after sporting activity or as a way of overcoming tiredness.
The list of the nine certified energy drinks include among others Power Play made by Century Bottling Ltd, Rock boom and Riham X Energy from Harris International Ltd and Sting Gold Rush and Sting Red Rush products by Crown Beverages Ltd.
Others are; Besi Uganda Ltd’s non-carbonated soft drink -Kirungi Kazi Booster, also Canaan Bulls Energy Drink (Canaan Investments Company Limited) Thunder caffeinated carbonated energy drink manufactured by Kiri Bottling Company Ltd and Yaket by Yaket International Limited.
However, a quick search on the UNBS website shows that the permit for Hariss International Ltd to manufacture Riham X Energy drink expired on 2 August 2019, while that for Yaket International Limited for Yaket energy drink expired on 26 July 2019.
By press time, UNBS was yet to respond on why the list on its website differs with the one Kyambadde provided to Parliament.
Kyamabdde issued the list in a statement on the dangers of energy drinks following a directive by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on August 20 after Kasambya County MP, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa raised a matter of national importance claiming that there are several energy drinks on the market which could result in health risks because there is limited regulation.
Mbwatekamwa was concerned that there are over 50 brands of energy drinks in the market and thereby asked government to provide a list of certified energy drinks and their contents.
She concurred with Mbwatekamwa, noting that high consumption of caffeinated energy drinks could cause addition among other effects.
However, Members of Parliament led by Mbwatekamwa of Kasambya County and Butemba County MP, Pentagon Kamusiime want immediate government intervention.
Mbwatekamwa argues that the government should ask all those who advertise in the media to warn the public on the effects of the high consumption of energy drinks. While Kamusiime says that the ministry of Trade should prevails over Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS in a bid to halt distribution and sale of energy drinks that have not yet been certified.
In response, Kyambadde says that the ministry of trade in conjuction with Uganda National Bureau of Standards- UNBS will sensitise the public on the proper use of the energy drinks.
Kyambadde says in a move to enforce regulations on the energy drinks, the government plans to close some of the factories that are manufacturing uncertified energy drinks. Kyambadde did not however mention the affected companies or when the action will be taken.