FDA Decision on Energy-Alcohol Drinks Expected Soon

Phusion Projects, maker of the controversial energy-alcohol drink, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">Four Loko, is expected to hear from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this week regarding its year-long research into caffeinated alcoholic drinks, said MyFoxHouston. The announcement is expected tomorrow, said the New York Times.

To date, Four Loko has been banned in six states: Connecticut, New York, Washington, Michigan, Utah, and Oklahoma, said MyFoxHouston. Aldermen in Chicago are considering a ban, as well.

Phusion Projects has been conducting its own media blitz in advance of the FDA action, including a statement issued by the founders intended to both set up damage control and warn that they intend on protecting their rights. The founders said, quoted MyFoxHouston, that they intend to, “…protect [their] rights as a business to the fullest extent of the law,” should the FDA seek a ban of Four Loko.

“While we don’t agree with the notion that mixing caffeine and alcohol is inherently unsafe, we do agree with the goal of keeping adults of legal age who choose to drink responsibly as safe and as informed as possible,” the statement continued.

Meanwhile, Four Loko is so packed with caffeine that people have been known to experience difficulty determining if they are, in fact, drunk, said MyFoxHouston. One can of Four Loko contains the same amount of alcohol as four cans of beer.

We recently wrote that Central Washington University (CWU) students were sickened at an off-campus party on October 8th. The students apparently fell ill after consuming Four Loko, leading state Attorney General Rob McKenna to ask for a ban on the drink.

The nine students required hospitalization after attending a party in which there were 50 people drinking, as evidenced by blood alcohol levels that ranged from 0.12 to 0.35 percent after consuming Four Loko, said MSNBC, citing CWU President James L. Gaudino; other students mixed Four Loko with more alcohol.

Phusion Projects Inc., of Chicago manufactures and sells Four Loko in a variety of flavors, including fruit punch and blue raspberry. A 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko retails for $2.50 and has an alcohol content of 12 percent, which, according to a prior MSNBC report, is about the strength of five to six beers. It is known that the drink’s caffeine content can keep the alcohol effects at bay for some time, lead people to consume more than usual.

Late last year, we wrote that the FDA notified about 30 manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages that it intended to look into the safety and legality of their products. Most recently, Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate how flavored, caffeinated alcoholic beverages are marketed, specifically those that appear to be geared to underage consumers, said The Associated Press (AP) previously.

The New York Times recently noted that a number of deaths have been associated with Four Loko, including of a 14-year-old girl in Texas, wrote MyFoxHouston.

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