SWEDEN CONSIDERS BAN ON ENERGY DRINK RED BULL

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(July 16, 2001) STOCKHOLM -- Sweden's Ministry of Health is to embark on a special investigation into the possible health risks attached to consumption of the energy drink Red Bull, which has already been banned in Norway.

The move follows three fatalities in Sweden that could be linked to Red Bull. Two of the victims mixed Red Bull with alcohol, while a third drank several cans after a sports training session. All three fatalities were admitted to the Sodersjukehuset hospital in Stockholm, where a special unit has now been established to investigate possible links between the deaths and Red Bull.

"Before we stick our necks out and declare the drink perilous, we have to do careful analysis," said Dan Anderson, a senior registrar at Sodersjukehuset hospital.

The special unit, however, has agreed that Red Bull should be banned in Sweden until medical research into the project is carried out.

Red Bull Sweden has rejected calls that the product be banned. "What we are seeing is scare-mongering. There's nothing dangerous in Red Bull. It's just an energy drink. The medical opinion expressed by Sodersjukehuset is inaccurate," a company spokesman said. -- Gerard O'Dwyer

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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