US watchdog says caffeinated alcoholic drinks unsafe

Nov 17, 2010 by Karin Zeitvogel

The US food safety watchdog on Wednesday warned that drinks combining caffeine and alcohol are unsafe and illegal, and ordered companies that make them to remove them from shop shelves.

"These products are adulterated and do not meet standards for safety," Food and Drug Administration (FDA) principal deputy commissioner Joshua Sharfstein told a news conference.

Companies that make and market certain very popular brands of the drinks have "failed to demonstrate that the addition of caffeine to their beverages is generally recognized as safe, and as a result, caffeine is an illegal food additive in these products," Sharfstein said.

The FDA and Federal Trade Commission sent out warning letters to four companies that make the drinks, saying if they fail to remove them from sale, they could face legal action.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the effort was part of a process that could lead to the products being permanently removed from the market.

"Additional steps can be taken if necessary to protect the health of the public, depending on the ability of the companies to address the concerns we have raised," she said.

The drinks targeted in the warning letters include Core High Gravity HG, Moonshot, Joose, Max and Four Loko.

According to New York Senator Charles Schumer, who has spearheaded a campaign to have alcohol-caffeine drinks banned in his state, the beverages deliver a caffeine boost equivalent to two to three cups of coffee and a dose of alcohol equivalent to three cans of beer.

"This ruling should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous and toxic drinks," he said in a statement.

Just weeks before Wednesday's ruling, nine university students in Washington state passed out and had to be hospitalized after drinking the popular alcohol-caffeine drink Four Loko.

Washington state Attorney General Robert McKenna called the drinks "a potent and dangerous combination of huge amounts of caffeine and other stimulants with very potent alcohol.

"We didn't see these kinds of incidents when people were drinking Irish coffee or drinking regular energy drinks and adding alcohol," said McKenna.

"What we're seeing now is striking and it calls for swift action," he said, applauding the FDA's action.

State-run liquor stores in New York have stopped selling the energy-alcohol concoctions, which have also been banned in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington state and on a number of college campuses.

Robert Brewer of federal health agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called caffeinated alcoholic drinks "a serious public health concern that can enable binge drinking, which kills 40,000 people in the United States each year."

White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske agreed, saying the drinks are "designed, branded, and promoted to encourage binge drinking."

Many of the drinks are sold in colorful containers that are about twice the size of a normal beer can or bottle. They also contain around twice the alcohol by volume.

The drinks are marketed to young people and have gained a sizeable following among youngsters in the past few years.

The action by the FDA follows a scientific review that began nearly a year ago, after several states attorneys general voiced concerns about the safety of the drinks.

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kevinrtrs
2 / 5 (8) Nov 17, 2010
The question is: If youngsters can have sex at any time and place they want, why is it necessary to prevent them from drinking this kind of beverage?

From an evolutionary point of view, there are no rules to govern the amoral behaviour of people who want to do as they please. Surely it's up to them to decide what they want to do? Who are we to judge what is good for them?

The only reason I can see for trying to prevent people from drinking these drinks is that someone actually cares whether they live or die. And caring is not something that comes in the same breath as evolution. Evolution doesn't care one way or the other - only that natural selection will take care of the weak - they will simply die out. Nature rules.

Contrast this with the caring and loving creator who made us.

AkiBola
5 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2010
The kids that are drinking this stuff are many of the same kids that will be trying illegal drugs and alcohol, regardless if they have this drink or not, which they can easily blend themselves anyway. If we ban all useless and/or dangerous products, there will be nothing left. On a positive note, it is an opportunity for the ruling class to show us how much they really really care about us and please make sure the cameras catch Schumer's good side.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2010
From an evolutionary point of view, there are no rules to govern the amoral behaviour of people who want to do as they please.
That's wholly incorrect. Morality is an evolved mechanism for social cohesion. Ethics is the evolution of morality into communicated guidelines, and laws would be the logical codification of ethical ideologies.
And caring is not something that comes in the same breath as evolution.
Again, incorrect. Caring is a driver for evolution. If you care for your children, there is a greater chance that your particular template will continue onwards. This is potentially part of the reason why Pandas are going extinct. They kill their own children often.
only that natural selection will take care of the weak
Incorrect again. Natural selection takes care of the least adaptable, physical or social strength is but a small portion of that aspect of survivability.
Arkaleus
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 17, 2010
So black coffee at bars and rum and coke are now illegal? Thanks nanny state, I might hurt myself with all this freedom if you don't take it away from me.

What's next, banning books so their sharp corners can't poke my eye out?

Thanks again for showing us how retarded your priorities are, teamObama!

How about instead we:

Control illegal immigration at the boarder and eliminate their incentives to come here;

Stop the massive loss of industry and wealth flowing into China because our "one world" politicians sold us down the river for a few cents;

Put the kibosh on private banking "interests" directing our national currency and corrupting our economic system and force the "Federal" Reserve to be audited.
CavemanDev
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
The question is: If youngsters can have sex at any time and place they want, why is it necessary to prevent them from drinking this kind of beverage?

Sex doesn't generally kill you, and we go to fairly great lengths to promote protection to back that up.

The concern is that people are not aware of the dangers - you probably wouldn't drink 6 cans of an energy drink, why would you do it mixed with booze? They could post warning labels on the cans, but for practical purposes that doesn't work that well and is more expensive in any event.

As Skeptic mentioned, society is build on protecting each other. Stop being a sociopath.
CavemanDev
not rated yet Nov 17, 2010
Also, I haven't read the legislation but I'm reasonably sure that
a) they aren't stopping you from mixing it yourself
and
b) there would be a limits on what constitutes "dangerous" anyway. Or at least there should be.
Modernmystic
3.5 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
Anyone who is for this kind of idiocy I must assume you're in favor of the continued ban on weed, and of course why wouldn't you be for a ban on tobacco or especially alcohol...oh wait...haven't we TRIED all that crap before?

How did that/how is that working for us?
Javinator
5 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
Contrast this with the caring and loving creator who made us.


Which one was that again? There seem to be so many these days and I haven't met any of them.

The question is: If youngsters can have sex at any time and place they want, why is it necessary to prevent them from drinking this kind of beverage?


Youngsters? This stuff can only legally be sold to anyone of legal drinking age which is a whopping 21 in the US. These 'youngsters' haven't been minors for three years. (Yes I'm aware that underage drinking happens, but that's not what this is about. There are different laws that deal with that)

Have sex at any time any place they want? Indecent exposure law doesn't really make that statement true. Or do you mean any time any place they want within the privacy of their own homes or in the privacy of a hotel room or on their own property if it is not in public view? Anywhere else is pretty much against the law too.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.8 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
Contrast this with the caring and loving creator who made us.
Which one was that again? There seem to be so many these days and I haven't met any of them.
I think he's talking about your mom. At least that's how I took it. My mom made me, with a little help from my father.
Anyone who is for this kind of idiocy I must assume you're in favor of the continued ban on weed, and of course why wouldn't you be for a ban on tobacco or especially alcohol...oh wait...haven't we TRIED all that crap before?

How did that/how is that working for us?
Stick a box of caffeine pills in a budweiser and tell me how that works out for you. The reason why these are being considered for a ban is the same reason why they don't sell 1600mg aspirin, it's really bad for you and very easy to accidentally overdose.
Modernmystic
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2010
Stick a box of caffeine pills in a budweiser and tell me how that works out for you. The reason why these are being considered for a ban is the same reason why they don't sell 1600mg aspirin, it's really bad for you and very easy to accidentally overdose.


Oh, of course, how stupid of me...
plasticpower
5 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2010
Two of these drinks will deliver 6-8 cups of coffee worth of caffeine and alcohol close in amount to 4 beers. I guess I can see where the issue arises. I love those drinks, but I wouldn't want to drink more than one, especially after reading a study on what alcohol/caffeine mix does with your brain when you go to sleep. It's just not healthy. Drinking is not healthy in general (but a lot of fun), and these drinks take it to a whole new level. The worst part is I would keep drinking them if I didn't read the research that was presented against these things. I now understand they're very harmful, but I bet most people still don't know or can't understand exactly what sorts of ill effects this would have on their brain/body even in "moderate" quantities (~2 cans)
eats_tribbles
5 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2010
From an evolutionary point of view, there are no rules to govern the amoral behaviour of people who want to do as they please.
That's wholly incorrect. Morality is an evolved mechanism for social cohesion. Ethics is the evolution of morality into communicated guidelines, and laws would be the logical codification of ethical ideologies.

I see your logic, but ethics and legalities are often hindered by the unethical motivations controlling bodies. consider murder vs the death penalty vs war...same action.

but seriously, mixing stimulants and depressants? Didn't Elvis go out like that? next they will be selling ammonia and bleach in the same bottle for ultimate cleaning power!
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2010
From an evolutionary point of view
People that have a delusion that Evolution doesn't exist simply don't comprehend what it can do.

Survival governs evolution. Getting selected out because a drug is being aimed at you IS evolution in action but that does not in any way mean the we humans can't decide the purveyors of said drug are reprehensible.

My morals will not go away just because you don't understand evolution. Morals are an emergent behavior of human interactions and those interactions were shaped by evolution AND learning. We evolved brains AND a sense of how others feel. I have no problem with labeling that sense, morals.
The only reason I can see for trying to prevent people from drinking these drinks is that someone actually cares whether they live or die.


Yep. Which is something we evolved. Caring for other members of our species. It enhances survival in social species. It has been shown in experiments that chimps have a sense of fairness.

Continued
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2010
Are you going to claim that chimps learned fairness from the Bible? Especially considering the way fairness is in short supply in the Bible.
Contrast this with the caring and loving creator who made us.
That Bible shows Jehovah, either directly or indirectly, murdering:
All the first born in Egypt
40 Children for taunting a prophet
Two cities that HAD to have children in them
EVERYTHING on that crawled or breathed air that weren't on a boat that weren't on the Ark via a flood that never happened.
And that is without bothering to look for more.

Kevin, evolution is proven to occur. It isn't going to away simply out of aggressive ignorance on your part. Demanding that we join you in ignorance won't change reality.

And I am still waiting to see you even try to support your claims or beliefs with a shred of evidence that can stand up to a moments scrutiny. He you almost never try at all.

When was the Great Flood Kevin? You don't seem to have enough belief to say when.

Ethelred.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2010
Sorry, tried trimming this but it is still two parts.
So black coffee at bars and rum and coke are now illegal?
No. They got threatening letters from people that don't actually make laws. They interpret them. Badly in this case.

It IS generally recognized as safe, for values of safety regarding recreational alcohol. Kalua has been on the market for a long time and Rum and Coke is a popular drink.

So no it's not illegal since the courts will throw it out. Maybe they are just bluffing and hoping no one will notice.

Control illegal immigration at the boarder and eliminate their incentives to come here


Sounds good to me. The Republicans ignored this for eight years. Now they have the chance to ignore it another two at least. The reason they ignore it is that REPUBLICANS hire illegal aliens and don't want the boat rocked. Rhetoric is all you are going to get from either side.

More
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2010
Part two
Stop the massive loss of industry and wealth flowing into China because our "one world" politicians sold us down the river for a few cents;
Reagan started that crap, got 5 megabucks from Japan after wards. Industry continues it. So you are demanding that the Obama administration interfere MORE with business than the Republicans have. Not disagreeing with the goal just the way the complaint is aimed at only one of the TWO responsible parties. I know government CAN solve problems.
Put the kibosh on private banking "interests" directing our national currency and corrupting our economic system and force the "Federal" Reserve to be audited.
You do know that this is Nanny State stuff don't you? I guess not. Perhaps you aren't clear on the Nanny State concept. So you might stop using the phrase until you gain a better understanding.

Ethelred
Shootist
5 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2010
"Forget left or right, democrat or republican, there are only two kinds of people in the world, those that would control the actions of others and those who have no such desire." - Robert A. Heinlein
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
"Forget left or right, democrat or republican, there are only two kinds of people in the world, those that would control the actions of others and those who have no such desire." - Robert A. Heinlein

Now if people would jsut forget the left or right when they cast such aspersions.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
"Forget left or right, democrat or republican, there are only two kinds of people in the world, those that would control the actions of others and those who have no such desire." - Robert A. Heinlein

Now if people would jsut forget the left or right when they cast such aspersions.


Or if people would remember what Robert A. said when they advocate a policy that's about nothing more than controlling people. A healthy dose of introspection is what everyone (left, right, center whatever) needs on this issue.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2010
Three cheers for Heinlein.
I reached that same conclusion after listening to 'progressives' and 'populist' statists here and elsewhere.
Arkaleus
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
Response to Ethelred:

Sounds like we agree on most of it, but you seem too intelligent to really be stuck in a republican - democrat dichotomy when describing the problem. Is the Red/Blue game something grown ups should be playing?

I'm not sure what you meant in your response to my comments on the Federal Reserve; I think I know what a Nanny State is and I argue that a Nanny State for your body isn't too ashamed to be a Nanny State for your economic "protection."

It all flows back into control - A corrupt state must control its captive population because it fears the natural consequences of its evil and foolish behavior.

Petty wrangling like this caffeinated liquor kerfuffle are just symptoms of a much deeper pathology: The government's need to keep the population "children" so their domination of the relationship can be justified by a false parental authority.

After all, we must be protected from our liberties and possessions, just like little children.
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2010
Modernmystic said
Or if people would remember what Robert A. said when they advocate a policy that's about nothing more than controlling people. A healthy dose of introspection is what everyone (left, right, center whatever) needs on this issue.
I accidentally gave you a one, sorry about that, a little, because I thinking of Marjon at the time, who clearly has RAH poisoning and never notice that RAH had a lot of stuff just plain wrong, The Crazy Years for instance. However your response to getting a single ONE from me was bit over the top. Once would have been reasonable EVERY bloody post is not something I will take lightly. Heck I would tolerate several and even all posts on this thread because I just plain goofed and that was my fault.

You do realize that this means war.

Ethelred
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2010
seem too intelligent to really be stuck in a republican - democrat dichotomy when describing the problem. Is the Red/Blue game something grown ups should be playing?
Not Red Blue. Rational vs. Irrational which unfortunatly includes much of the Republican Party these days.
I think I know what a Nanny State is
We don't have a Nanny State. Take a look at the homeless. People starve to death in this country.
A corrupt state must control its captive population because it fears the natural consequences of its evil and foolish behavior.
We don't have that either. The Soviet Union did and China still does.
The government's need to keep the population "children" so their domination of the relationship can be justified by a false parental authority.
This is a fantasy. You seem to think a couple of idiots constitute the whole government. As I already pointed out it is pretty much guaranteed to be killed in the courts if it is ever put into practice.

Ethelred
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2010
People starve to death in this country.

So why do top 'liberals' focus on fat kids and worry about too much salt in food?
Busy body regulators all over the country at all levels try to force their neighbors to live in a why they, the 'well educated' think they should live.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
So why do top 'liberals' focus on fat kids and worry about too much salt in food?


Why do you make things up instead of dealing with reality?

Busy body regulators all over the country at all levels try to force their neighbors to live in a why they, the 'well educated' think they should live.


Yes Republicans are trying to cram their religion on everyone else.

So when are you going to stop playing evasion games? And poking at straw men?

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
People starve to death in this country.

So why do top 'liberals' focus on fat kids and worry about too much salt in food?
Busy body regulators all over the country at all levels try to force their neighbors to live in a why they, the 'well educated' think they should live.
You mean like the republican anti-abortion bullshit?

You simply want people to live your way. That's the only difference between the people you don't like and the people you do. You agree with the ones you do. The tactics are the exact same, except, the "liberals" as you like to call them do go after the middle and lower classes. If you're not rich Marjon, why would you ever vote republican?

Best part of this whole deal is the fact that you're a political hack. You sit on the agricultural commision of a town that's zoned for zero agricultural land. How disingenuous are you?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
You simply want people to live your way

Sure, I want everyone to respect life, liberty and property. Don't you?
You sit on the agricultural commision of a town that's zoned for zero agricultural land.

What town is that? That's news to me.
So when are you going to stop playing evasion games?

Yes, whey are you going to defend your statist, socialist positions with data? Yes, please defend the cost overruns at the US Post Office, Amtrak, the union bailouts at GM, the chaos on the US-Mexican border....
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
Sure, I want everyone to respect life, liberty and property. Don't you?
No, you want everyone to respect your life, your property. No one respects you marjon, because you're a liar.
What town is that? That's news to me.
Chelmsford has you listed in that seat, Mr. Swenson. I'd provide a link but it also has your personal information as well (phone and address), and not everyone is as ethical as myself with other peoples' information.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
I want everyone to respect life, liberty and property
I do. I also want the original Pursuit of Happiness. Of course the problem of property owners using it as a weapon.
Yes, whey are you going to defend your statist, socialist positions with data?
That looks like evasion to me. I have most of the world with functioning states.

You have one example of your idea of Utopia. No government, no scary liberals with their awful laws, nothing to stop property owners from doing what they want.

You have Somalia. Enjoy.
Yes, please defend the cost overruns at the US Post Office
Its been effective since Franklyn started it. Does what its supposed to do. Allowed EVERYONE in the US to communicate efficiently and cheaply. Of course it is NOW a bit obsolete. Happens to every business.
Amtrak
Well that one hasn't worked out as well as Hoover Dam or the Interstate Highway system.
the chaos on the US-Mexican border
Which is due to Mexico sucking big time.

Ethelred
Arkaleus
5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
Ethelred,

I'm confused by your identifying "Republicans" as a singular entity. Neither "party" has any strong leadership or central will, and even among party members there is no consensus. Instead of focusing on media titles, shouldn't we be considering individual concepts and their merits?

If you don't consider what we have a Nanny State, I shudder to think of the conditions that reach this threshold in your mind. Nanny States are not for the protection of the people, but the protection of the state.

Do you assert that our state is not corrupt? Or that it does not manipulate and control information to avoid the consequences of its behavior? The courts are the protection against this sort of thing, but the federal appeals courts are seeded with apparatchiks and they can hardly betray their friends in power.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
Well that one hasn't worked out as well as Hoover Dam

The Hoover dam could not be built today in 4 years.
Does what its supposed to do. Allowed EVERYONE in the US to communicate efficiently and cheaply. Of course it is NOW a bit obsolete. Happens to every business.

Then you support abolishing the USPS?
Of course the problem of property owners using it as a weapon.

If a property owner uses his property as a weapon, it violates the property rights of others. It is function of the state to protect the property rights of all citizens, equally.

Chelmsford has you listed in that seat, Mr. Swenson

Do you believe everything you find on the internet?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
FTR:

http://en.wikiped..._Company

More evidence of the govt protecting its power.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
Do you believe everything you find on the internet?
No, but I do believe everything that is backed up by public record when it comes to political hack seat holders.

Are you backpedaling because you've been caught describing yourself when you speak of political corruption?
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
Do you believe everything you find on the internet?
No, but I do believe everything that is backed up by public record when it comes to political hack seat holders.

Are you backpedaling because you've been caught describing yourself when you speak of political corruption?

You obviously believe what you want to believe. Not living up to your name, SH.
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2010
I'm confused by your identifying "Republicans" as a singular entity
The block voting and persecution of moderates fits that shoe. Its been pretty narrow for decades and is worse now.
shouldn't we be considering individual concepts and their merits?
I do. What does that have to do with the present level of block voting by the Republican Party? Or the Right Wing.
If you don't consider what we have a Nanny State
If you can't see homeless people you don't live in the United States.
Nanny States are not for the protection of the people, but the protection of the state.
You sure do have some strange fantasies.
Do you assert that our state is not corrupt?
Generally it isn't. I suspect you have a Special Definition of corrupt.
Or that it does not manipulate and control information to avoid the consequences of its behavior?
President Bush did start that with Desert Storm but generally its false. Fox is simply not the only media.

Cut a lot not worth more

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 24, 2010
You obviously believe what you want to believe. Not living up to your name, SH.
Would you like me to prove my assertion? I have quite the evidence trail buddy, but it all has your personal information attached to it. I wouldn't want to release it without your ok. Especially since it has your home phone and address listed as well.
Arkaleus
not rated yet Nov 24, 2010
Ethelred,

I'm afraid the universes we each live in aren't close enough to warrant meaningful communication.

Have a great holiday everyone!
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2010
Especially since it has your home phone and address listed as well.


Assuming the name you found is his then I could already get that information. In fact I saw it but didn't bother to do anything with it.

I was not able, in the short time I tried, to actually confirm anything that it had anything to do with Marjon. Unlike the time Barakan posted stuff about Oliver. That I confirmed but it took a fair amount of time.

Be careful what you post. It doesn't take much sometimes. For instance I will NEVER hand out my real name around here. Its not exactly John Smith. There is only ONE person with my name in the world.

Some people aren't even close to rational. At least not when angry. They hold grudges and take them into the real world.

Ethelred
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2010
I'm afraid the universes we each live in aren't close enough to warrant meaningful communication.


I knew that. I am into reality and you are into well, you have a problem with clear thought in areas where you have preconceptions that are interfering with your WILLINGESS to deal with the world in a realistic way.

Australia HAS a Nanny State for instance. They don't have homeless people staying in the library on cold days and freezing, even here in Anaheim, at night. They don't have children living in motel rooms using hangers as guns to play. That isn't TV. I see it happen.

The world, even a few miles from the Magic Kingdom, can be a harsh place. Radical Conservatives help make it that way.

The weird thing is that so many of the are Social Darwinists yet deny the existence of Evolution. Really strange that is.

Ethelred
marjon
not rated yet Nov 24, 2010
Australia HAS a Nanny State for instance. They don't have homeless people staying in the library on cold days and freezing, even here in Anaheim, at night.

"Charities estimate there are more than 100,000 homeless people in Australia with indigenous people the hardest hit.

This transient population includes families with small children and divorced women as well as those suffering addiction and mental illness.

Some are without a place to stay for a few days, while others spend their lives looking for a safe place to sleep in doorways and parks. "

http://news.bbc.c...4303.stm

Sleeping in doorways and parks, sounds like Santa Barbara, CA.
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2010
Well then even Australia isn't a Nanny State. So the US isn't even close.

Thank you

Ethelred