SA Government Discovers G Fuel, Immediately Cracks Down On Energy Drinks

SA Government Discovers G Fuel, Immediately Cracks Down On Energy Drinks

The South Australian Government is cracking down on extremely high caffeine energy drinks imported from the US, amid fears they could be harming children and teenagers.

If you don’t live in South Australia, it’s possible this story flew under your radar. It certainly flew under mine, which is why I’m covering it a bit late.

On October 24, 2023, the SA premier’s office issued a release called ‘High-powered energy drinks contain dangerous levels of caffeine’ that put imported energy drinks squarely in its firing lines. The government was moved to act after discovering that high-caffeine drinks containing up to “twice the maximum regulated level of caffeine” were available for sale on South Australian store shelves.

Some of you may be wondering why I’m bringing this up on Kotaku AU. I bring it up because it was, of course, a can of gamer fluid that alerted the government to the problem, specifically G Fuel Tetris Blast. A 473ml can of this supposed performance sludge contains 300mg of caffeine, well in excess of the national food standards maximum of 320mg per litre.

The maximum recommended daily caffeine intake for teenagers is just 3mg per kilo of body weight. For adults, a total of 400mg of caffeine in a single day is a perfectly safe amount, provided you’re ingesting no more than 200mg in a single serving. G Fuel Tetris blast is blowing that recommendation out of the water, coming in under the daily maximum but cramming way more into a single serving than is allowed by law.

G Fuel is the latest energy drink to get caught in the dragnet of Australian national food standards. In February this year, YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI (Olajide William Olatunji) brought their range of PRIME Hydration drinks to Australian shores. Paul and Olatunji were banned from selling their flagship PRIME Energy drink in Australia after it failed to comply with local standards. To get around this, the pair pivoted to their Prime Hydration line, which is caffeine-free, as a way to get around it.

It, of course, contains a ton of other additives and sweeteners. Indeed, PRIME Hydration has been compared to “swallowing perfume” by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

“It’s just a cocktail of compounds, with ‘feel good’ nutrition claims like coconut water. Products like these have no association with a high-quality diet for sport,” Professor Ben Desbrow, a dietician at Brisbane’s Griffith University, told the SMH in February. “We might target caffeine as a supplement, but we are not going to deliver it in this vehicle because it comes with a bunch of other crap.”

Though the South Australian government has not (as yet) banned the sale of these imported and extremely high caffeine energy drinks, it is calling on businesses to stop stocking them. It has also begun issuing notices to businesses found stocking them. The release also notes that the government has notified interstate health departments of the problem.

“We are taking action to stop the supply of these energy drinks which have been sourced from overseas and do not comply with Australian standards,” reads a quote from SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton. “I encourage businesses to be vigilant and to check to see if the energy drinks they are selling are compliant to national food standards.”

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