Parliament summons energy drink manufacturers over false claims

Mukama Nayamba Energy Drink

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Tourism has summoned a list of ten (10) energy drink manufacturers over false claims in their adverts. Some of the energy drinks under consideration include; Mukama Nayamba, Rock Boom, Power Bank, Bebe Wine, Akaboozi, Kituuzi, Kabode, and Kabiriti among others.

The summons were issued by the committee chairperson, Mwine Mpaka saying Parliament has received a number of false claims made in adverts of these energy drinks.

“There are energy drinks coming up that don’t have consumer protection. We asked UNBS to provide us with a list so that at a later time, they appear with National Drug Authority. We have so many things that are promising unbelievable things. Does UNBS actually control and protect our consumers, does the content? Does the content on the packing warrant it?” Mwine said.

The manufacturers, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) have been summoned over the requirements in these adverts.

Patricia Bageine Ejalu, Deputy Executive Director Standards at UNBS said the standards set up by the body don’t allow companies to make a claim unless you can prove it.

When asked if the manufacturers are allowed to put their drinks on market pending certification by UNBS, the Bureau answered in affirmative saying the all the manufacturers follow some guidelines as their samples await verification.

Mwine described this process as dangerous wondering what happens if the investigations recommend a ban of the product yet it had been put on the market.

Harriet Businge (DWR Hoima) blamed UNBS for some of the deaths that have occurred after consumers drank the energy drinks on market.

“If it is UNBS which we trust, that can identify what the Ugandans are consuming and what is evident that UNBS isn’t in charge at all. We buried a big gentleman in Hoima, he swallowed the energy drinks and died. Those things are certified by UNBS,” said Businge.

Mwine asked the companies to come with their samples and adverts, but Cecilia Ogwal (DWR Dokolo) asked the MPs not to consume the samples tabled before the Committee when the meeting happens.

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