The National Drug Authority NDA has revealed that various energy drinks with high alcohol and sexual enhancing ingredients are circulating the Ugandan market.
While presenting a report to the Parliamentary Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industries, the NDA says that it sampled 40 energy products, 38 of which were locally manufactured in Uganda. Only Red Bull and Azam were imported.
Members of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Trade, to present results of the samples of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks tested to ascertain caffeine levels and presence of sexual potency-enhancing ingredients.
The affected carbonated and non-carbonated energy (soft) drinks include Power Bank, Kabody Coffee, Smart Charger, Akaboozi, Sabarara Extra, Mukama Nayamba, Ntare Saana and Kituzi Juice.
NDA confirmed allegations that some soft drinks such as Akaboozi and Kabody Coffee were laced with sexual enhancing ingredients.
“Mukama Nayamba, Rock Boom had poor labelling of illegible batch numbers and lacked expiry dates, while Kabode Coffee had an extremely high alcohol content of up to 20 percent, contrary to the standard of 0.6 – 15 per cent”, part of the NDA report reads.
Mwine Mpaka, the Committee Chairperson said the report implicates soft drinks like Kituzi Juice, Power Bank and Ntare Saana of misleading consumers as none alcoholic drinks yet the NDA test indicated otherwise.
Patricia Bageine Ejalu, the Deputy Executive Director of UNBS in charge of standards who interfaced with the Committee alongside other NDA officials, said that the products in question where already suspended for breaching the UNBS Act of 2018.
The legislators tasked UNBS to withdraw the certification marks from the affected products and report back to Parliament within seven days and communicate the directive to the public through various media outlets to salvage consumers from health hazards.