Coke good, Dr Pepper bad

It seems Food Standards Australia New Zealand doesn’t like creaming soda all that much.

The Canberra Times reported yesterday that customs ordered 600 American imported cans of A&W Cream Soda, manufactured by Dr Pepper, be destroyed after they were found to contain caffeine:

A spokesman from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said caffeine was only permitted as an additive in cola-type drinks such as Coke or Pepsi or in formulated caffeinated energy drinks such as Red Bull.

“It is not permitted in regular soft drinks like Fanta or creaming soda,” he said. ”However, we believe caffeine is permitted in a wider range of products in the US.”

So A&W is obviously banned in Australia, not because of its dangerous caffeine content – it contains less caffeine than Diet Coke and far less than any energy drink on the market – but because it isn’t a cola.

Even if FSANZ were to take every caffeinated soft drink off the shelves, it still wouldn’t shield people from the caffeine hit in a single shot of espresso coffee.

While the reasoning behind such regulations is not entirely clear, the contempt bureaucrats have for consumers’ ability to make informed decisions is obvious.

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