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EU Parliament blocks "alertness" claims on caffeinated soft drinks

A woman shops at a supermarket in Milan, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files
A woman shops at a supermarket in Milan, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Caffeinated energy and soft drinks makers in the European Union will not be allowed to claim the drinks boost alertness or concentration after the European Parliament on Thursday blocked European Commission proposals to regulate but allow these claims.

The parliament said such claims promoted sugar intake among children.

"Displaying these claims on drinks cans would have led to higher sugar consumption among adolescents, who are the largest group of energy drink consumers," parliament said in a statement.

The Commission will now have to make a new proposal.

A spokesman for the Commission said its rule had been proposed not to promote caffeine intake but to regulate health claims that were already being made by producers.

"Without the new legislation the status quo would prevail and we would miss an opportunity to enhance protection for EU citizens," he said.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels)

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