THE Country Women’s Association (CWA) is determined to ban the sale of energy drinks to people under 18 years of age.
A petition containing more than 13,000 signatures was presented to the House of Representatives yesterday by Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton.
President of the central west group of the CWA Margaret Brown said members voted in May last year to push for change in order to protect children from the effects of the drinks, which contain high amounts of caffeine and sugar.
“Our organisation is focused on raising awareness to have these drinks banned - they are just dangerous for our young people,” Mrs Brown said.
“Mix them with alcohol and it makes it even worse.”
Mrs Brown admitted the CWA is concerned at the marketing used to sell the drinks which appeals to the naivety of young people.
“They are pitched in such a way to make them attractive and many young people don’t really know the effects they can have on their bodies,” she said.
The Australian Medical Association has also weighed into the debate with president Dr Steve Hambleton saying his medical colleagues are concerned about the over-consumption of energy drinks by teenagers.
“The dangers are significant and I think many parents and teenagers are unaware of the risks,” he said.
“The problem is young people want to keep up and be part of the ‘scene’ which is contributing to them consuming these drinks,” Mrs Brown added.
“But there is also a problem with some parents who even allow their toddlers and young children to drink them and then wonder why they are hyperactive.”
The CWA in NSW with its 10,000 members in 395 branches across the state are all supporting the move for change.