The government has decided to ban the production, marketing and import of energy drinks under the guise of carbonated beverages with immediate effect.
The Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) at a council meeting on Tuesday also resolved to take legal action against the companies that have been advertising their products as energy drinks after having them listed as carbonated beverages with BSTI.
The move came after the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) wrote to BSTI to say the production of energy drinks in the name of carbonated beverages should not be allowed, as the ingredients of the two are significantly different.
In 2012, a Department of Narcotics Control test conducted on energy drinks from several local and foreign companies had found excessive amount of artificial caffeine, Viagra (sildenafil citrate), beer and alcohol as ingredients.
Confirming the decision, BFSA Member Mahbub Kabir told the Dhaka Tribune that all members had agreed to take the preventive measures.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu had chaired Tuesday’s BSTI council meeting. According to an official who was present, the manufacture and advertising of energy drinks under a license for carbonated beverage is fraud, punishable under several laws including the BSTI Act and the Food Safety Act.
Initially, the government will write to the companies to instruct them to discontinue their production and marketing of energy drinks. Punitive actions will follow if they do not comply, said the official.
The government will also amend the import policy in order to blacklist the foreign energy drinks with harmful ingredients, the official added.