Publication - FOI/EIR release

Energy drinks and caffeine gum use in children: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
12 Jan 2022
Energy drinks and caffeine gum use in children: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100260419
Date received: 29 Nov 2021
Date responded: 15 Dec 2021
Information requested

My main concern is the sale of fast release caffeine gum to children for performance enhancement in athletics. I'm interested to know why the consultation on energy drinks excluded this type of harmful high caffeine product which is being widely promoted and sold to children.

Was the Scottish Government aware of concerns raised by Scottish Athletics, Sport Scotland and Mary Fee MSP regarding children consuming caffeine gum?

Response

While the consultation on energy drinks was specifically framed in relation to such drinks, it did provide an opportunity for respondents to raise concerns in relation to other food and drink products, such as caffeine gum.

The information you have asked for is publicly available in the document below:

Ending the sale of energy drinks to children and young people: consultation - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

We would like to draw your attention in particular to:
Question 1 and question 9 in the consultation, which offered an opportunity for respondents to highlight other issues they may have found relevant, such as caffeinated gum.

Paragraph 5 of consultation paper’s introduction stated:
We are asking for views on our proposals and thoughts on any gaps, issues or unintended consequences. We would like to hear from a range of organisations and individuals to ensure we identify the best actions, if any, to take forward.

Annex B to the consultation paper also set out in paragraph 7:
There is no evidence that young people overconsume caffeine from other caffeinated foods or drinks.

We are currently considering responses to the consultation. We will publish an independent consultation analysis report and set out our policy response in due course. We will alert you to the publication of the analysis report and our policy response.

Furthermore, we can confirm that a search of our records show that we have received no correspondence from Sports Scotland, Athletics Scotland, or Mary Fee MSP in relation to children consuming caffeine gum.

We can also confirm that neither Sports Scotland, Athletics Scotland or Mary Fee MSP responded to the consultation.

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG