'We shall then compare the findings of NDA, UNBS and those of an independent laboratory and if the results are varying then we are going to be in trouble. So you cannot change these results. Go and do the exact thing and give us exact results!” - Committee Chairman Mwine Mpaka.
Some of the Health drinks in the Market
The Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry has directed Uganda National Bureau of Standards -UNBS and National Drug Authority -NDA to test all energy and health drinks to ascertain the levels of adulteration and caffeine.
officials from UNBS, NDA and Uganda Communications Commission -UCC on Friday, on
non-conformity to standards of health and energy drinks, the Committee chaired
by Mwine Mpaka, MP for Mbarara City South Division, called for a forensic
investigation by UNBS and NDA that involves collecting samples of all the
health, energy and komubucha drinks and having them tested for caffeine levels
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its purported health benefits.
“We are going to
request you to verify and have all the energy drinks tested. We also want all those
komubucha drinks to be tested for their caffeine levels and if any is
adulterated,” Mpaka said.
For purposes of impartiality, Mpaka said that the Committee will also take the samples to an
independent internationally recognized laboratory to do further tests to ensure
that neither UNBS nor NDA compromises the results.
“So we shall then
compare the findings of NDA, UNBS and those of the independent laboratory and if the
results are varying then we are going to be in trouble. So you cannot change
these results. Go and do the exact thing and give us exact results,” he said.
communicate through the clerk after meeting the Speaker and identifying the
independent lab, but in the meantime, UNBS should go and do the necessary
investigations on all these companies, not only Rock Boom.”
Dennis Mwesigwa, the Senior Inspector of drugs at NDA, the Authority recently
collected and analyzed samples of six out of the 11 energy drinks from the
market to assess the sample for caffeine and conventional aphrodisiacs
(Sildenafil, Vardenafil and Tadalafil) as requested by the Committee.
have revealed that only one product -Rock Boom- out of the 11 products was
found to have a caffeine content of 39.46mg/100ml, which exceeds the allowable
limit under the Standard as well as the content desired on the product label,”
Mwesigwa told the committee.
Standard US 47:2011, where caffeine is used as a flavoring agent, the amount
of caffeine in the drink should not exceed 200mg/kg and where caffeine is used
as a functional agent such as energy drinks, the amount of caffeine in the
drink should not exceed 320mg/kg.
He added that there
was no detectable adulteration of aphrodisiacs that contain components that
stimulate sexual desire like sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil in all the
According to UNBS,
there is no provision for caffeine limits in komubucha drinks, an issue that
worried the MPs on the Committee who demanded that caffeine limits as per the
UNBS standard should apply to all drinks on the market including komubucha.
that was locally developed for komubucha was recent (2019) and the perimeters
discussed at that time did not include caffeine because the ingredients used in
these products have natural amounts of caffeine," said Patricia Ejalu, the Deputy ED-Standards at UNBS. "So this was not looked into as
an issue. However, if it is seen as an issue to be considered then it shall be
The Committee is
also concerned about the misleading adverts that are being published by
manufacturers of some energy drinks disguising their products as curative
health products that can cure ailments like cancer.
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