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Pepsi to Put Caffeine Content on Labels

Drinks giant PepsiCo is to disclose the caffeine content on cans and bottles of its flagship soda Pepsi, a move that comes amidst mounting// debate surrounding the substance.

The new labels, which coincide with the brand's new look, list caffeine as an ingredient and also separately state "caffeine content: 25mg/8fl oz".

The disclosure, which is relevant only to products sold in teh US, comes as consumer and health groups increasingly petition for the clear labeling of caffeine in order to avoid unnecessary risk for vulnerable consumers, such as children and pregnant women.

"We're simply giving consumers more information. We started phasing these labels in several months ago on many of our beverages. They're showing up on Pepsi-Cola now because we timed the labelling change to coincide with the brand's new look. This is something the whole industry has agreed to do," said PepsiCo in a statement.

Under current regulations, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted caffeine generally recognised as safe (GRAS) status in cola-type beverages, to a limit of 0.02 per cent.

But the American Dietetic Association – as well as the Food Standards Agency in the UK – advises people not to consume more than 300mg of caffeine per day. Health Canada advises consumers to limit their caffeine intake to 400 to 450 mg per day.

This advice is particularly aimed at pregnant women, who, studies indicate, have greater risk of miscarriage or babies with low birth weight if they exceed the 300mg barrier.

A study published last year in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology stated that all drinks containing caffeine should display the caffeine content on their labels, to prevent those at risk from consuming too much of the substance.

The research team analysed the caffeine content of 10 energy drinks and 19 fizzy sodas, all widely available. They found all the fizzy drinks had caffeine
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