The fact that ‘energy drinks’ that are being sold in the country contain traces of harmful and addictive chemicals deserves to be investigated by the competent authorities. An investigative report by Bangladesh Post has thrown much light on the issue supporting the speculation that something was wrong somewhere.
The report says that according to experts, such energy drinks are contaminated with hazardous materials which create serious health complications as well as death risks as they damage nerves, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs. They may also cause type-2 diabetes, brain hemorrhage and mental retardation etc. A recent test conducted by the Department of Narcotics Control reveals that most of the energy drinks contain ‘alcohol’ and ‘sildenafil citrate’. Experts are of the opinion that Sildenafil citrate is an element found in Viagra, which is prohibited in Bangladesh.
A lab report prepared by Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) reveals that energy drinks contain caffeine, Sildenafil Citrate, preservatives and other chemical materials.
In the test, the BSFA found 320 milligrams of caffeine per liter while the approved level was 145 milligram per liter. Meanwhile, the Department of Narcotics Control also tested the energy drinks separately in three laboratories including the Institute of Food and Nutrition Science of the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) and Bangladesh Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR).
On the other hand, BSTI found caffeine under 145 mg/liter in some popular brands. But Food Safety Authority found 320 mg/liter tested in the laboratory of BUET, BCSIR, IPH and BSTI whereas imported Red Bull had more than 700 mg/liter. Here, a question arises over the test procedure of BSTI.
We are doubly concerned to learn that consumption of high amount of caffeine may cause complicated nervousness, scurvy, type-2 diabetes, insomnia, headaches, heart and kidney problem, respiratory problems, and even childbearing complications. This was corroborated by Dr Nahid Sultana, Associate professor of Community Medicine Department of Dhaka National Medical College Institute told Bangladesh Post.
Experts further said that sodium benzoate is a type of preservative that destroys beneficial bacteria supporting digestion of human food. This results in digestion problems. At one point, kidney and liver are attacked.
We urge the relevant authorities to launch a full-fledged investigation to get to the bottom of the unlawful activities and book those who are behind. No big fish should be allowed to escape the dragnet.