FDA bans caffeinated alcoholic drinks; college parties everywhere get more boring
Just like Philly P, parties with more than two kegs, and Dan Porterfield, another piece of college canon is leaving us for good. After a struggle led by pretty much everybody except college students, the Food and Drug Administration banned Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
Today, the FDA sent letters to four companies—including Four Loko’s manufacturer, Phusion Products—informing them that the FDA had decided that adding caffeine to alcoholic beverages was unsafe. The companies must take action within fifteen days, or the FDA warns it will seize the products or seek a court order to ban the distribution of the products.
“FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these alcoholic beverages is ‘generally recognized as safe,’ which is the legal standard,” Joshua M. Sharfstein, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, said in a statement. “To the contrary, there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern.”
Just last night, Phusion took preemptive action by announcing that they would remove caffeine, taurine, and guanine—three of the four ingredients that give Four Loko its name—from their beverages.
“We are taking this step after trying—unsuccessfully—to navigate a difficult and politically charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels,” co-founders Chris Hunter, Jeff Wright and Jaisen Freeman said.
D.C. hasn’t announced plans for legislative action yet, which means the city may wait for other states to ban the drink, effectively eliminating it from circulation. As for your favorite local liquor stops, the future of Four Loko is unclear.
Wagner’s said that they are waiting to hear back from distributors about whether or not the product will continue to be made available. Towne Liquor still has Four Loko on the shelves, but employee David Shin said that they have not placed future orders for the drink.
“Considering it’s kind of an issue right now, we haven’t decided whether or not we are going to continue to stock it,” Shin said.
Stock up, folks, because livin’ la vida Loko just got a whole lot more difficult.
h/t Washington Post