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To be pissed off with local shop selling energy drinks with taurine to school kids and to write to MP

(129 Posts)
FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:15:54

DS is at secondary school and has lunch money etc, and recently I have found empty cans of energy drinks in his bag. These drinks are not just caffeine, they contain taurine which has been banned in some countries - France, Norway, Denmark. Effects of long term use can include paranoia, heart problems and it can disrupt neurotransmitters. I really don’t think that many parents are aware of just how unhealthy these drinks potentially are. The caffeine content is way too high for youngsters too imo.

The cans specifically state that it should not be sold to children, yet shops are selling it to kids in their school uniform. You see them all drinking it round here. I also wonder whether drinking it regularly for the buzz could lead to an increased likelihood to experiment with amphetamines further down the line. I'm not some puritan, but amphetamines are nasty drugs. Nobody thinks it's ok to sell tobacco and alcohol to minors, so why the hell is this crap being sold to them?

AIBU to write to my local MP about this problem?

kittyandthegoldenfontanelles Mon 22-Oct-12 07:18:34

YANBU. These were the bane of my teaching life. I'm behind you.

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:19:02

Btw, please excuse the poor grammar, my brain has not yet warmed up for the day.

HappyJustToBe Mon 22-Oct-12 07:23:09

YANBU.

Euphemia Mon 22-Oct-12 07:23:58

YANBU. I have primary pupils who claim to drink Red Bull, and I think it's probably true as they can't sit still or concentrate!

Would your council trading standards department be a first port of call?

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:26:10

Thanks Euphemia That's a good idea.

crazygracieuk Mon 22-Oct-12 07:30:07

Thank you for your post. I had no idea Taurine was banned in some countries and have naively bought the odd energy drink for Dc.
My local Coop and Morrisons sell Monster, and Red Bull to children.

blueemerald Mon 22-Oct-12 07:38:48

I completely agree with you but would maybe leave out your theory about a future link to amphetamines. I've just started my teaching training and it is crazy how many students drink these things and bounce off the walls all day long.

BadgersBottom Mon 22-Oct-12 07:43:17

I'd go further OP and write not only to your own MP but to Michael Gove as well - sounds like exactly the kind of issue he'd love! - and the Health Secretary and possibly your MEP too. If it's banned in some EU countries then why is it allowed here? Write to everyone and copy them all to each other. Twitter it. Make it a real issue. In my opinion this stuff is a real worry.

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:44:31

I never thought about the effects at school, but I can see how it would be disruptive.

I've already considered leaving my amphetamine theory out of the email. It makes sense to me, but I can see how it might make me sound like a wingnut.

halcyondays Mon 22-Oct-12 07:45:25

I suppose the problem is,there is no law against shops selling them to kids, unlike alcohol and tobacco. Not a great thing for them to be drinking regularly, especially if they have more than one. Not sure I would mention the bit about amphetamines though.

picnicbasketcase Mon 22-Oct-12 07:45:44

Every morning I walk past secondary school children (12/13 ish) chugging back cans of Red Bull and wonder how on earth shops can be allowed to sell them it. YANBU.

PedanticPanda Mon 22-Oct-12 07:48:58

Yanbu, under 16's are banned from drinking it because the taurine in it is bad for their hearts.

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:50:40

Yep, DS is 13 and he is more independent and has pocket money, lunch money etc and can buy them. I have told him that it isn't healthy and why - not the amphetamine bit obviously.

Shops won't even sell chocolate liqueurs to minors, so I can't see why energy drinks are acceptable.

mutny Mon 22-Oct-12 07:50:40

yanbu. But you should be looking at them only being available for over 16/18. Rather than moaning about the local shop who can't not be prevented for selling them as its legal.

VintageRainBoots Mon 22-Oct-12 07:50:41

Okay, I had to chuckle when I read the FunBagFreddie's post. I'm a mum who recently returned to university to finish a PhD. (Yes, I'm crazy. I won't dispute that wink). Frankly, I live my life on coffee and energy drinks, Red Bull in particular. Unlike the childless 22 year olds in my programme who have all day and night to study, research, and write, I only have the time my daughter spends in school; in the evenings, I have to be her mum, not a student. All this means that I have only so many hours in the day for me to get any school-related work done, and I rely on a fair amount of caffeine to make that happen.

Perhaps I'm an outlier, but Red Bull doesn't get me buzzed and it's never given me an urge to try amphetamines or other drugs. For it's, it's just a quick source of caffeine.

mutny Mon 22-Oct-12 07:51:33

Also you should tell your son he is not allowed to buy them and why.

mutny Mon 22-Oct-12 07:53:55

Shops won't even sell chocolate liqueurs to minors, so I can't see why energy drinks are acceptable

Because that's the law. Shops don't decide these rules. We have redbull in the house and it does say it is not allowed to be sold to under 16s.

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:54:24

But VintageRainBoots, you're an adult, I drank energy drinks when I was doing my degree for exactly the same reasons. They made me feel totally buzzed which was quite inspiring at the time because I was a graphics student, but I never wanted to do amphetamines because of them. Maybe it's just me, but they did make me feel a bit high.

I don't think youngsters shuold be drinking them though.

sashh Mon 22-Oct-12 07:54:27

I thought you got taurine from meat and fish - am I wrong? Or is it the amount?

And if we are talking about red bull it is available in France - link to banned TV advert.

www.france-today.com/2011/01/red-bull-cartoon-commercial-is-too-sexy.html

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 07:56:02

Some of the other energy drinks which aren't Red Bull do say that they shouldn't be sold to children. I don't know about Red Bull, I stopped drinking energy drinks because they made me come out in hives.

mutny Mon 22-Oct-12 07:57:05

Is it a recommendation or law?

If its the first, its the law that needs looking at.

storminabuttercup Mon 22-Oct-12 08:02:49

I remember when red bull first came out I was about 15 and the shops didn't sell it to under 16s, I worked in a supermarket at 16 and we weren't allowed to sell it to kids.

I don't drink any caffeine as it makes me ill, plus red bull is horrid.

I can't see why kids of that age need a caffeine boost hmm

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 08:03:22

Taurine does occur naturally, but the amounts in energy drinks are very high. I think France has had to lift the ban because of EU regulations, but they are keeping a close eye on the situation.

I'm not criticising parents who let their DC have these drinks, they aren't actually illegal. However, it's good to research what actually goes into processed foods and soft drinks. I don't have anything in the house that contains MSG, aspartame or some other additives either. DS can still buy these outside the house with his money, but I won't buy them.

jamdonut Mon 22-Oct-12 08:03:40

I had a girl who was in year 6 last year (at the school I work at) ,stop to talk to me outside Morrisons,with a couple of her friends. She kept teling me how "hyper" she was because she was drinking an energy drink she had just bought. I told her they were full of additives and not ideal to drink at her age (11-12).
Then they all walked away across the car-park, acting crazily and talking loudly.
I don't really think they should be sold to youngsters.

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