Health Canada OKs new energy shots as concerns mount in U.S.
Christina Commisso-Georgee, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2013 1:00PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:23PM EST
A number of new energy shots have been approved by Health Canada in the last month while the U.S. continues an investigation into possible deaths linked to the caffeine-packed drinks.
A search of the Health Canada database shows at least 14 new energy-shot product were approved by the federal agency since the beginning of the year, two of which were ‘5-Hour Energy’ products. A total of 24 "energy shot" products are currently authorized for sale in Canada.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- Health Canada’s American counterpart -- is investigating reports of 13 deaths possibly linked to 5-Hour Energy shots. The U.S. agency also launched an investigation into the highly-caffeinated Monster Energy Drink that has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack south of the border.
In Canada, energy shots and energy drinks are regulated in two separate categories, Health Canada says, and therefore hold different limits in terms of the amount of caffeine allowed.
A spokesperson explained that energy drinks are considered food products while energy shots fall under the natural health product classification.
In the fall of 2011, the government announced it would lower the cap on caffeine in energy drinks to 180 mg, a change that was fully implemented by the end of 2012.
However that cap does not apply to energy shots.
According to a statement provided to CTVNews.ca from Health Canada, the extra strength version of 5-Hour Energy shots sold here are authorized to contain a maximum of 200 mg of caffeine.
Health Canada generally recommends a maximum daily intake of caffeine of 400 mg for an adult.
Still, the agency suggests that Canadians take caution whenever consuming energy-related products.
"Energy-shot companies must ... provide clear information on the label about the quantity of caffeine and other active ingredients, as well as cautions and recommended doses," Health Canada said in a statement. "By reading the label of the products they consume, Canadians are able to make informed health choices and limit their caffeine intake."