Health Canada is to announce today that it will consult with Canadians to stop the sale of high-alcohol sweetened beverages in their current format, such as the Four Loko or FCKD UP brands.
According to federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, the objective of this consultation is to reduce the alcohol content of these beverages or the formats of products sold in individual portions in non-reclosable containers. According to the minister, the new rules will better protect young people.
The consultation should last 45 days. According to a government source, this is the usual procedure for implementing a change to the Food and Drug Regulations.
According to this source, the government wants to establish a maximum sugar level in a beverage from which manufacturers will have to limit the size or size of the product.
For example, the FCKD UP drink was sold in a 568 ml can, cost about $3.50, while its alcohol content was 11.9%.
“I am deeply concerned about the increasing accessibility and attractiveness of high-sugar, high-alcohol beverages in individual doses and the growing number of youth admitted to the hospital after consuming these products,” said Minister Petitpas. -Taylor.
I expect the industry will also propose interim measures to help ensure the safety of young Canadians.
Canada’s Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas-Taylor
The Minister also asked Health Canada to hold a quick meeting with provincial and territorial governments to discuss advertising, marketing and labeling issues to reduce the risks associated with these products.
The announcement comes about two weeks after the Quebec government asked the federal government to intervene .
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said earlier this month that “it is Health Canada’s responsibility to make a formal statement and limit products that pose health risks.”
Not so soon on the shelves
The Quebec group Geloso, which produced the FCKD UP, announced two weeks ago that it would stop production , following the death of the young Athena Gervais , 14, whose body was found in a stream behind the Poly-Jeunesse school in Laval, three days after she was reported missing.
According to information obtained from witnesses, but not confirmed by the police, the girl had consumed a high-alcoholic sweet drink on Monday at lunchtime, before or after leaving school.
The American manufacturer of the Four Loko beverage had also announced that its products that had been removed from Quebec tablets at the end of last year would not return “until further notice” .