Are you loco for Four Loko? Well, the Federal Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission are anything but crazy about all of the popular alcoholic energy drinks on shelves today. The FDA says “that alcohol containing added caffeine presents unusual risks to health and safety.”
Soldiers based in Oklahoma, Michigan, Maryland, Utah and now Massachusetts can no longer buy Four Loko — better known as cocaine in a can. Energy drinks have long been popular in the Army used often on deployments to stay awake on long missions.
Those drinks, though, don’t pack the 12 percent alcohol punch that these alcoholic energy drinks do. Many soldiers have latched onto these drinks because it’s cheap at $2.50 a can; it gets the job done fast at 12 percent alcohol; and it extends the party with as much caffeine as two cups of coffee.
“Consumers – particularly young, inexperienced drinkers – may not realize how much alcohol they have consumed because caffeine can mask the sense of intoxication.”
The FDA sent warning letters to marketers of caffeinated alcohol drinks threatening to ban them if the companies didn’t pull the drinks off the market themselves. Phusion Products (the company that makes Four Loko) said it will remove the caffeine from its products.
Soldiers will have to wait and see if the three other companies follow suit.