Labour Would Ban Sales of High Caffeine Energy Drinks to Teens

(Bloomberg) -- Keir Starmer is committing to ban the sale of highly caffeinated energy drinks to teenagers if his Labour Party wins the UK election next month, part of a broader strategy to improve child mental and physical health.

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Under the plan, drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per liter will be prohibited from sale in retail outlets and online to people under the age of 16, Labour announced late Monday. The restriction would encompass brands such as Monster Energy and Prime, though it would not affect regular soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Lucozade that have lower caffeine levels.

“The sale of dangerously high caffeine energy drinks to children under the age of 16 is not justifiable or acceptable and we’ll stop it,” Starmer, the Labour leader, said in a statement. “I will always take the tough decisions necessary to keep our children healthy.”

The Labour statement announcing the move said that the current caffeine labeling system is failing to prevent young people from buying those drinks and that the ban would be “in line with current labeling rules and enforced through trading standards.”

The proposal forms part of Labour’s Child Health Action Plan, which promises to place mental health professionals in every school, introduce free breakfast clubs for all primary school children, crack-down on vaping and smoking and ban junk food advertising to children, if the party comes to power.

Labour’s electoral manifesto is scheduled for publication on Thursday.

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