Litigation in Cloud 9 Energy Drink

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Pune Following the confirmation of the state public health laboratory about the energy drink ‘Cloud 9’ containing more than the permissible level of caffeine, the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pune region, has now filed an application seeking judicial action against the manufacturers and distributors of the drink Pushpam Foods and Beverages and Goldwin Healthcare Private Limited.

The manufacturer had made misleading statements on the label that suggested that the drink was recommended for medical purposes.

“We have now filed an application seeking judicial action against the offenders,” said C D Salunkhe, Assistant Commissioner, state FDA, Pune office. A central notification, issued on June 19, 2009, says energy drinks should not contain more than 145 parts per million (ppm) of caffeine, while the earlier official cap was 200ppm. Many popular energy drink brands thus overshot the limit by nearly 100 ppm.

“It was a clear violation of a 2008 amendment to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act banning energy drinks with caffeine content more than 145 parts per million (ppm). We sent samples of the drink to the public health laboratory and they have confirmed that the level of caffeine was 228.2 ppm,” says the laboratory report that gave its findings recently.

Chetan Chopra, director of Pushpam Foods and Beverages said that the product was already in the market before the new rules came into effect on June 17, 2009. “How can the FDA apply the new rules about the change in the caffeine limit to the products which were already manufactured in December 2008? How can the new standards be applied on the old products,” he said.

Vasudeo Kolte, quality control manager of Pushpam Foods and Beverages said, “Our product was manufactured in December 2008 and hence it was already in the market as per the then prescribed rules. We have followed all the regulations and will challenge the case in court.”

It was in November 2009 that the state FDA, Pune...
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