Four Loko to Stop Shipping Alcoholic Energy Drinks to New York; FDA May Ban the Drinks Altogether

Controversy has surrounded alcohol energy drinks such as Red Bull for their unhealthy concentration of caffeine. But rather than backing off, the beverage industry has come up with yet more potent and dangerous drinks. One such drink is Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink combining alcohol and caffeine.

To combat the danger, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) announced that the SLA has reached a voluntary agreement with Four Loko producer Phusion Products to stop shipping alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants to New York State by this Friday, November 19, 2010. Phusion Products has also agreed to fund alcohol awareness programs to educate licensees and consumers about the dangers of alcohol and binge drinking.

The federal government may go further with the Food and Drug Administration likely finding the drinks unsafe and outlawing them, possibly as early as this week. Alcohol Energy Drinks are flavored malt beverages in which caffeine or other stimulants such as guarana, taurine or ginseng, have been intentionally added to high levels by the manufacturer. AEDs do not include products that are flavored with coffee or real tea. These beverages, including the brands Four Loko and Joose, contain the equivalent of as much as two to three coffee cups’ worth of caffeine and as much alcohol as two to three cans of beer.

In addition, the States largest beer distributors have voluntarily agreed to stop selling malt beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants. Under the voluntary agreement reached late Saturday, beer distributors will stop placing orders for these alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs) immediately and will be given until December 10, 2010, to clear their inventory of the products, with retailers given an additional time to sell off existing stock.

The agreement was reached after extensive conversations between industry leaders and the State Liquor Authority regarding concerns over the potential dangers of these products, including the caffeine content and its potential to mask the effects of alcohol in the short term. After determining there is not enough evidence to ensure these products are safe for consumption, distributors agreed to voluntarily stop selling the products within an agreed upon time frame.

The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims involving dangerous and defective products. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a product that was not properly manufactured, designed or labeled, contact the offices of Levine & Slavit in New York or Long Island for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and surrounding areas including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. To learn more, watch our videos.

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