MONTREAL — éduc’alcool appeals to Health Canada to frames more the sale of alcohol energy drinks, which could be related to the accidental death of a 14-year-old Laval, which occurred earlier this week.
The result of toxicological analysis on the body of Athena Gervais has not yet been revealed, but according to information from The Press, the girl and her friends would have stolen cans of the drink sweet alcoholic FCKD UP in a Provi-Soir around the school at lunch time Monday and have been drunk.
In the wake of this tragedy, Couche-Tard, to which the chain Provi-Soir is affiliated, announced on Friday evening for the immediate withdrawal of the beverage FCKD UP all of its stores. Citing “the events that occurred in the last hours”, the retail giant of accommodation indicated in a press release that it had taken the decision to “voluntarily remove from their shelves” product, and this, even if its sale is legally permitted.
Aldo Geloso, co-chair of the group Geloso, who is the owner of the mark FCKD UP has passed on his condolences to the family of the victim and said he was open to remove the product, but “together with the other producers”. In a written statement provided to The canadian Press, Mr. Geloso committed to “work to a complete overhaul of the marketing of this product.
He also called on the authorities to establish a consultation group to find solutions to deter minors to consume this drink.
However, according to Hubert Sacy, director general of éduc’alcool, it is time that the federal government is committed to the further frame these products that are considered hazardous by the experts.
According to Mr. Sacy, a single can of this type of beverages is equivalent to four alcoholic drinks. In addition, the effects of alcohol are camouflaged by the guarana, a substance which contains a high content of caffeine, according to Health Canada.
“Awaken our consciousness”
The director-general therefore urges the federal government to better regulate these products. It suggests, in particular, to reduce their alcohol content and make their packaging less attractive. According to him, these drinks should be able to find only in the Companies des alcools du Québec (SAQ), and not in grocery stores and convenience stores.
“Just go in the emergency room of the hospital every weekend to see that this is not a harmless product,” he argued in a telephone interview.
“What is important today, this is not to say who did what, who was nice and who was nasty. What is important is that we take advantage of the emotion that has caused this incident so sad to awaken our consciences and we raise awareness of the importance of not trivializing this product is alcohol”, he added.
In an e-mail sent to The canadian Press in the late afternoon, Saturday, Health Canada, after having recalled that the marketing of alcoholic beverages, and restrictions of the point-of-sale in Canada generally fall within the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories, said “working with the government of Quebec in order to address the issue”.
The agency reported that alcoholic beverages do not need to be evaluated or approved by Health Canada before their market launch. “Such products can be legally sold in Canada, provided they meet all the general requirements of food safety, as well as all of the requirements that are specific to this type of products”, said the head of media relations Health Canada and the public health Agency of Canada, Eric Morrissette.
The ministry of Health of Quebec discourages consumers to mix energy drinks and alcohol.
“The stimulating effect of energy drinks can mask the depressant effect of alcohol. A person who uses both substances at the same time, for example, can believe that its coordination or reflexes are intact. However, this is not the case, because the effects of the alcohol remain the same when it is mixed with an energy drink”, is it written on the website of the ministry.