Four Loko Banned in Michigan: Do Drinks "Present a Threat to Public Health?"

Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic drinks under FDA scrutiny. CBS

Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic drinks banned by Michigan state. (CBS)
Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic drinks banned by Michigan state. (CBS)


(CBS) If you like alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko and you live in Michigan, you better drink up, because 30 days from now they won't legally be on the shelves.

On Thursday, the state's liquor control commission banned the retail sale of all alcohol energy drinks on the opinion that they "pose serious health and safety risks to American youth" and "present a threat to the public health and safety."

Here's a full list of banned products.

They reiterated the FDA's position that mixing alcohol and stimulants, such as caffeine, into one drink has not been proven to be generally regarded as safe.

Late last year, at the urging of a group of state attorneys general, the FDA sent letters to nearly 30 manufacturers responsible for more than 40 alcoholic energy drinks asking them to prove their products are safe.

Phusion Projects LLC., the company that makes Four Loko, one of the most popular drinks, told CBS News they responded to the FDA and provided internal research showing their products are safe to consume - in their words no different than "having coffee after a meal with a couple of glasses of wine.

Four Loko's main product is a 23.5-ounce drink with 12 percent alcohol - roughly equivalent to drinking five 12-ounce beers. The drink also has about a cup's worth of coffee, according to the manufacturer.

Students in several colleges around the country have been hospitalized after drinking Four Loko, but in many cases they were also drinking heavily of other liquors.  Police reports in at least one incident suggested illegal drugs were also present.

CBS News reached out to the FDA to get their take on Four Loko and the other caffeinated alcoholic beverages on the market.  They said their investigation continues and wouldn't comment on the results thus far.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? (COMMENT BELOW)

Is Michigan acting like the food police or are they doing what's best for public safety?


  • Neil Katz

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