MADD Canada

MADD Canada

March 17, 2005 11:53 ET

Flogging beer with caffeine -- 'irresponsible'

MADD Canada hopes Federal and Provincial Governments will hold beer companies accountable for marketing practices and their 'dangerous-mix-of-encouragement-in-a-bottle' Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MISSISSAUGA, ON--(CCNMatthews - March 17, 2005) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is calling on the Federal and Provincial Governments to hold Molson and Labatt breweries accountable for their planned release of their high-octane-caffeinated-brews. The organization is upset with what they term a 'dangerous product' that is being marketed at young drinkers - those who are most likely to be involved in drunken, risky behaviour.

"The breweries must be held accountable for the release and marketing of these new products," says Wanda Kristensen, Director of Programs for MADD Canada. "We are very concerned about the likelihood of increased impaired driving incidents and other irresponsible behaviour. Molson and Labatt want to put their caffeinated beers into the hands of every partying student and young person. This is a group that is already dramatically over-represented in traffic fatalities and other alcohol-related trauma deaths and injuries in our country."

"We see this as being irresponsible and we hope the Federal and Provincial Governments will hold these beer companies accountable for their marketing practices and for the product itself," says Mrs. Kristensen.

Professor Robert Solomon of University of Western Ontario, and MADD Canada's Legal Policy Director, outlines the three contentious issues with Labatt's and Molson's new products. "First, these caffeinated beers are being marketed to 16-24 year olds as energy-boost products much like other non-alcoholic energy drinks. The suggestion is that this is the beer that will enable you to party, party, party."

"Second, Labatt takes their irresponsibility one step further by increasing the alcohol content by 38% over regular strength beer to provide a 6.9% alcohol punch. The marketing for this extra-strength beer is geared to young binge drinkers who want the cheapest and fastest way to get drunk. But now, with the caffeine, you can be a more alert, extremely intoxicated partier."

"Third," says Prof. Solomon, "the effect of the caffeine will combat the drowsiness of the alcohol and may provide intoxicated persons with the false sense of security in terms of their own sobriety. An alert drunk is more likely to continue drinking and engage in risky behaviour than one who feels impaired. That person is more likely to use their keys and drive impaired. Unquestionably, Molson and Labatt are offering our youth a dangerous-mixture-of-encouragement-in-a-bottle."

For more information or interviews, call:
Wanda Kristensen 1-800-665-6233, ext. 229

Contact Information

  • Wanda Kristensen, Director of Programs, MADD Canada
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 229