More on the danger of energy drinks, thanks to Join Together newsletter…..and OP pal, Jim Mosher.
Various state attorneys general and advocacy groups are calling for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to ban caffeine-infused alcohol drinks from the market — or at a minimum add warning labels stating that combining caffeine and alcohol can cause health risks, the Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 3.
Drinks such as Joose, Liquid Charge and Four Loko combine malt liquor, vodka or other types of alcohol with caffeine and/or other stimulants. The drinks are particularly popular among younger consumers.
Over a recent 12-month period, Joose’s unit sales more than tripled to 1.3 million cases sold in convenience and drug stores in the U.S., according to Nielsen Co. Unit, a market-research company. Four Loko and Four Maxed also experienced an increase in their unit sales over a 12-month span.
Critics are concerned that manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the amount of caffeine in the drinks, and are urging the federal government to be more active in regulating the products.
Combining caffeine or other stimulants with alcoholic beverages is believed to keep users from feeling drunk, which could lead them to be make reckless choices such as driving while under the influence.
“It’s just a travesty that we can’t get the federal government’s attention on this,” said Jim Mosher, an alcohol-policy expert.
Redondo Beach, the maker of the drink Vicious Vodka, which combines vodka and caffeine, defended the company’s product. “Consumers have been mixing beverages which contain caffeine along with alcoholic beverages for many years — this is not a new trend,” said a company spokeswoman. “We are not aware of any proven health risks related to mixing reasonable amounts of caffeine with alcohol.”
The FDA said it is currently reviewing studies that look at the effects of combining caffeine and alcohol. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said that it is keeping a close eye on how these drinks are marketed to make sure they are not being advertised as “stimulating” or “energizing.”