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Warning as fizzy drinks on Bucks' shelves break ingredient regulations
12:00pm Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
A WARNING has been issued about fizzy drinks which are available in Bucks that broke EU regulations and failed tests for their ingredients and labelling.
Seven out of 10 random samples of fizzy fruit drinks taken by Buckinghamshire Trading Standards officers failed Public Analyst tests for preservatives, colourings and labelling.
Two of these samples, taken during a national campaign in October, had incorrect labelling and were found to contain too much benzoic acid.
In excessive quantities this can affect the liver and kidneys.
Stock of these drinks, from the USA via the same importer, were taken off the shelves of an independent trader and Trading Standards officers are now making further enquiries.
Concerns were raised by the Public Analyst about the mixture of benzoic acid with six artificial colours, and their link with hyperactivity in children.
BCC Trading Standards Team Leader David Pickering said EU limits for benzoic acid are 150 milligrams per litre, while the USA allows 1000 mg/l.
He said: “These samples appeared to be breaking our labelling and ingredients regulations, and we're investigating further.”
Five samples taken from local retailers and a Bucks importer had incorrect labelling and traders have been advised that they must comply with EU regulations.
Three of the 10 samples complied with regulations.
The samples looked at included some with labelling for the American market and some with labelling containing non-English wording, causing concern that consumers may not be aware what was in the drinks.
Mr Pickering added: “Despite strict EU regulations, we're still finding imported drinks that aren't compliant, some from the USA and others from the Far East. A certain amount of sampling takes place at ports, but some products slip through the net.”
Martin Phillips, Cabinet Member for Community Engagment, said residents should be alert to products from outside the EU. He said: “It may be that the EU errs on the side of caution with its regulations, but the precautionary principle is a very wise one to use.”
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