FDA Finds Problems with Alcoholic Energy Drinks
Attorney General Drew Edmondson today applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) position on the safety of alcoholic energy drinks.
Last year Edmondson and a group of attorneys general asked FDA commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, to examine whether the use of caffeine in alcoholic beverages is considered under FDA regulations to be “generally recognized as safe.”
After a year-long review, the FDA responded today by issuing warning letters to four manufacturers stating that the caffeine in their beverages are “unsafe food additives” and are being marketed in violation of federal law. Phusion Projects, LLC, maker of the drink Four Loco, is one of the four companies to receive the FDA letter.
Alcoholic energy drinks are alcoholic beverages to which caffeine and other stimulants have been added at the point of manufacture. Packaged in 23.5 ounce cans resembling energy drinks some beverages like Four Loko contain the alcohol equivalent of five or six beers and the caffeine equivalent of one and one-half to two cups of coffee in just one can.
In 2008, under scrutiny from a group of states including Oklahoma, MillerCoors Brewing and Anheuser-Busch, Inc. stopped production of these types of beverages, but other manufacturers filled the void.
Copies of today’s FDA letters are available at the agency’s website, www.fda.gov.