Under consideration PE1919: Ban the sale of high caffeine products to children for performance enhancement
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ban the sale of fast release caffeine gum to under 18s for performance enhancement due to risk of serious harm.
Previous action taken
In my capacity as an athletics coach at Giffnock North AC I raised concerns with UK and Scottish Ministers, Scottish Government officials, MSPs and Senior Executives at Sport Scotland, UK Athletics, Scottish Athletics and Parkrun.
No action was taken as the gum is legal with no age restriction on purchasing it. The Children Commissioner’s office has passed on concerns about high strength caffeine gum to Government Officials and suggested I consider the Scottish Parliament’s petitions process.
European Food Standards Agency advise single doses of caffeine >3mg/Kg could compromise the cardiovascular system. There have been sudden cardiac deaths at races where caffeine gum was promoted although there were no investigations of any potential link.
Both Scottish Athletics and sportscotland warned of health risks particularly for U18s with undiagnosed medical issues.
The charity Cardiac Risk in Young state 1 in 300 young people have undetected life-threatening heart conditions. In the UK every week 12 apparently fit young athletes die of undiagnosed cardiac conditions.
The sale of caffeine gum to U18s may well be a violation of the UN Convention on Rights of the Child, a treaty ratified by the government.
Article 3 - “the best interests of a child should be a primary consideration”.
Article 19 – all measures must be taken “to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse”.
This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee