FDA questions safety of alcoholic energy drinks

WASHINGTON. - The Food and Drug Administration is challenging makers of alcohol-infused energy drinks to prove their beverages are safe. At issue are complaints that the products can cause risky behavior and injury.


The FDA issued a letter to 30 beverage manufacturers, giving them 30 days to provide evidence that the combination of caffeine and alcohol is safe.


FDA officials stressed they have not reached a conclusion about the safety of beverages like Joose and Charge. Instead they are trying to understand the companies' legal rationale for marketing the products.


The FDA was pressed to take action by state attorneys general from New York, California, Maryland and 16 other states, who contend the drinks appeal to underage drinkers and encourage reckless behavior.


Larger brewers like Anheuser-Busch already have removed caffeine from their alcoholic energy drinks. Remaining manufacturers include smaller firms like Los Angeles-based Joose Beverage and Portland, Oregon-based Charge Beverages.

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