Zimbabwe has banned the popular energy drink, Dragon, for health reasons. The Ministry of Health said Dragon which is imported from South Africa violated Food and Food Standards Regulations. Some of Zimbabwe popular Prophets earlier also preached about it and said its a satanic drink.
The ministry said all Dragon Energy Drink 500ml cans should be withdrawn from the shelves. Dragon Energy Drink is a beverage marketed as designed to maximize mental and physical performance and has been a hit since it was introduced on the local market early last year.
Its claimed efficiency as well as its cheap pricing have made the drink popular in the country, with people either taking it on its own or as a mixer with alcoholic beverages, especially whiskies.
According to investigations by the Health Ministry, its importation and distribution are in breach of health standards.
“Analysis results of (Dragon) Energy Drink have shown that the drink is violating Statutory Instrument (SI) 265 of 2002,” reads a letter from the Ministry of Health. According to the letter, the energy drink is in breach of Section 5(1)(e) of the instrument, which stipulates that where food contains any artificial flavouring or artificial colouring, the name of the artificial flavouring or artificial colouring should be clearly labelled.
The ministry noted that this procedure was not followed in the packaging of the drink. “The artificial flavourings contained therein are not declared by names on the list of ingredients.” The ministry also said that the words “The Power Is Yours” printed on the packaging of the product could not be substantiated, another violation of regulations.
“The label bears claims, ‘The Power Is Yours’ and specifically designed to maximise mental and physical performance which cannot be substantiated,” reads the letter. While prices for most energy drinks range between US$2 and US$5, the 500ml Dragon can sells for US$1. The popular drink is both imported and smuggled from neighbouring South Africa where the company which makes the drinks has set up distribution depots.