Feds Warn Makers of Alcoholic Energy Drinks; Anthony Gomes Reports
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a move designed to end the sale of drinks that premix alcohol and caffeine, the US Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to four manufacturers of drinks informing them administrators believe the drinks are "unsafe."
The manufacturers have 15 days to respond. The letters come after a yearlong investigation into the combination of caffeine and alcohol in drinks known as alcoholic energy drinks or carbonated alcoholic beverages.
Some doctors and scientists suggested that caffeine masked the effects of alcohol on the body, prompting people to drink more alcohol than they normally would.
Nine students from Central Washington University were recently hospitalized after drinking alcoholic energy drinks.
Administrators at the FDA said alcoholic energy drinks, "do not meet standards for safety," during a conference call on Wednesday. The Administration could seek a court injunction to pull the products from shelves if the companies do not respond.
Phusion Projects, the maker of FourLoko, announced on Tuesday it was removing caffeine from their product in an attempt to comply with FDA standards.
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna likened the move to an employee quitting his job when he was about to be fired.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently voted to ban alcoholic energy drinks in Washington. That ban takes effect November 18.
Several other states including Michigan, New York and Oklahoma have passed similar bans which take effect in the next few weeks.
KHQ Local News Reporter Anthony Gomes contributed to this report.
To read the letters sent by the FDA, click here.
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