Buckfast in firing line as Labour urges action
LABOUR will today say there is "overwhelming evidence" that caffeinated alcoholic drinks can be dangerous.
The party's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie will urge the SNP to back Labour's call for a limit of 150mg of caffeine per litre in beverages such as Buckfast.
Labour will say numerous studies have highlighted the dangers of mixing energy drinks with alcohol, with research from Wake Forest University in the US finding that students who mix caffeine with alcohol were more likely to drink-drive, be involved in violence or end up in hospital.
The party will cite the McKinlay report for the Scottish Prison Service, which found that 40 per cent of offenders who drank before their offence had been drinking "tonic wine".
Ms Baillie said: "There is overwhelming evidence that the combination of alcohol and caffeine can be dangerous, yet we have some alcoholic drinks where a single bottle contains as much caffeine as three-and-a-half cans of Red Bull.
"I believe that the risks involved in consuming caffeinated alcohol are so great that the Scottish Government must take action. There can be no sensible reason to sell caffeinated alcohol."
The Alcohol Commission, set up by Labour, has called for a limit on the amount of caffeine in alcoholic drinks - a move that, if adopted, could see Buckfast banned.
Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon last week said that the Scottish Government would "carefully consider" Labours' calls to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
But she insisted there was no evidence to show that this, in itself, would protect health or prevent crime in line with European Union law.
Experts told Holyrood's health committee last week that there was no evidence to suggest tonic wine caused or increased violence.
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