Added by David Sandercock on November 18, 2010
A U.S. food safety watchdog has ordered companies that make drinks containing caffeine and alcohol to remove them from shop shelves, arguing that they are unsafe and illegal.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) principal deputy commissioner Joshua Sharfstein told a news conference that companies making these 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.”
Four companies have received letters from FDA and Federal Trade Commission to warn them that should they fail to remove their products from shop shelves, they risk facing legal action.
The drinks concerned are Core High Gravity HG, Moonshot, Joose, Max and Four Loko.
According to Charles Schumer, New York Senator, these drinks contain a caffeine level equivalent to two to three cups of coffee combined with an alcohol dose equivalent to three cans of beer.
The ruling comes after nine Washington university students passed out and had to be taken to hospital after drinking caffeinated alcohol drink Four Loko.
Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington State have already banned these types of drinks, as have a number of college campuses. Gil Kerlikowske, White House drug policy director, said the drinks are “designed, branded, and promoted to encourage binge drinking,” which kills some 40,000 people every year in the U.S. alone.