Health Canada has taken an initiative to alleviate the quantity of alcohol permitted in the premixed sugary drinks. According to the agency, the growing amount of alcohol in such beverages are putting the health of public especially youngsters, at risk.
In a news release, the government agency said that such beverages can have nearly more than triple amount of the alcohol as compared to the usual quantity of alcohol in a container, and still they don’t taste like alcohol. It added that these drinks contain purified, flavored and usually sweet alcohol base.
Health Canada said that the proposed modifications to the Food and Drug Regulations of the country would help save youngsters from excessive intake of alcohol, which could result into alcohol poisoning and prove fatal.
If the amendments get approved, the number of alcohol servings allowed in one container would be decreased significantly. According to the amendments proposed by Health Canada, any container under a litre must have 1.5 or lesser servings of alcohol, which means they should have 25.6 millilitres of alcohol or less.
Currently, 568 millilitres of purified and flavored alcohol can is permitted to have 11.9 per cent or lesser amount of alcohol, which is equal to four alcoholic drinks.
As per the government agency’s proposed amendments, a same-sized drink must not have over 4.5 per cent alcohol in terms of volume. But these regulations won’t be applicable on alcohol sold in 750 millilitres or more sized glass bottles, as such drinks are considered to have many portions. While explaining the reason behind the same, the agency added that glass bottles of this size are a common format for old-style alcoholic beverages, like spirits and wine.
Previously, in March this year, Quebec proposed to prohibit the sale of premixed malt-based drinks that contain over 7 per cent alcohol from any other place apart from the provincial liquor stores.
Quebec had taken the action, following the death of teenager Athena Gervais from Montreal area, who reportedly consumed malt-liquor beverage known as FCKED UP, which contained 11.9 per cent alcohol, during school lunch break.
Since then, the manufacturer of FCKD UP stopped the production of the drink, but other drinks of same kind are still available on the shelves in the province.
According to the Quebec Association for Public Health (ASPQ), the suggested amendments are merely a step forward, and not a solid solution to address the issue completely.