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Parliament demands list of certified energy drinks

Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa presents a complaint of mushrooming energy drinks before the House. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – Parliament has directed the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde to table a list of certified energy drinks in the country following complaints from the Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa about the mushrooming energy drinks which he says might affect the health of Ugandans.

During Tuesday, August 20 plenary sitting, Mbwatekamwa said that he is concerned that some of these energy drink manufacturers might be taking advantage of Ugandans as no one knows the content of their drinks.

He said it is hard to ascertain whether what they are drinking is safe or not and asked the Ministry of Trade to avail Ugandans with a list of certified energy drinks that are good for human consumption.

“The lives of Ugandans are being threatened by the so-called health energy drinks so many from different manufacturers who take advantage of Ugandans and they are selling these products whose contents we don’t know,” said Mbwatekamwa.

The line Minister, AmeliaKyambadde told Parliament that her ministry is aware of the health drinks on the market as they are working with the ministry of health but requested to be given up to next week to report on the matter.

“We are aware of the health risk we are working closely with the Ministry of Health because they are the ones to clear them first. We have actually certified some, I will come with the list that have been tested by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS),” she said.

Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga gave the Minister one week and she is to report back to Parliament on Tuesday next week with a list of certified energy drinks.

The development comes at a time when a consumer lodged a complaint in January 2019 with the National Drug Authority (NDA) that Natural Power SX energy drink, caused him an erection for nearly six hours, a condition that left him experiencing an abnormal heartbeat and constant sweating after taking the drink.

Following the complaint, NDA forwarded the matter to UNBS for further investigations since it has no mandate to regulate energy drinks.

Natural Power SX is an imported energy drink manufactured by a Zambian company known as Revin Zambia Ltd and an earlier test conducted by NDA on the samples found some adulterations on the drink.

“Following the complaint, NDA sampled the product (batch number E66C and expiring on 30th August 2019) from Mega Standard Supermarket on 30th October 2018 and subjected it to full monograph analysis using a method adopted from USP.

The results obtained indicated that the product was adulterated with Sildenafil Citrate,” NDA says in a December 2018 letter that was received in January 2019 by UNBS.

Sildenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s also used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according healthline, a medical website.

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