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SF City Attorney Takes Aim At Latest Potent Alcoholic Drink

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has joined a number of law enforcement officials nationwide in calling for a brand new alcoholic drink to be taken off shelves.

Earlier this month, the Pabst Brewing Company began promoting a drink called "Blast by Colt 45." The drink, which is produced in a variety of fruit flavors, boasts an alcohol content of 12% and is offered in 23 oz. cans. Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg was hired to serve as a spokesperson for the drink.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

It's precisely because of those factors - the high alcohol content, the sweet taste of the drink, and the popular rap mogul talking up the drink - that law enforcement officials in San Francisco, California and across the country are taking aim at the drink and the brewing company, calling for "Blast by Colt 45" to be stripped from store shelves immediately.

Most recently, 17 state attorneys general, including California's Kamala Harris, signed a letter to Pabst, asking that the brewing company discontinue production of the malt beverage altogether.

City Attorney and mayoral candidate Herrera also signed the letter, a move he described as an effort to protect local youth.

"The fact of the matter is the advertising campaigns themselves are directed towards young people in an attempt to entice them to buy the product," he explained.

He acknowledged that other beverage companies have produced similar products, though he was quick to point out that those companies responded to pressure from the public, elected officials and youth health advocacy groups, ultimately changing their marketing strategies or stopping production of the product entirely.

"I think the facts speak for themselves," Herrera offered. "Look at some other responsible companies, what they have done in terms of taking similar products off the shelves."

"If you look at what has happened with other drinks, many of which had caffeine in them, there is absolutely no doubt that the advertising campaigns, the designs, colors associated with the cans, are directed at young people," he continued. "(The equivalent of) five beers in one can, and it's something that we have made clear to other distributors that it's not acceptable ... I think responsible vendors have taken this type (of product) off the shelves and we're happy and we hope that Pabst is going to do the same."

Pabst issued a written statement in response, emphasizing that the drink is meant to be consumed by people of legal drinking age only, and should be poured over ice or mixed with nonalcoholic fruit drinks to help dilute the alcoholic potency of the drink.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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