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The United States Food and Drug Administration has recently sent warning letters to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, warning them that their products might be unsafe.
Ever had a splash of alcohol in your coffee at Christmas? Or a dash of coffee in your alcohol to help the mince pies go down better? Apparently this could be dangerous if done to excess because caffeine reduces the symptoms of intoxication, keeping you more alert and so you may not think you are drunk when in fact you are. This could lead to you drinking more than is safe for you.
The FDA warned the companies that they may seize the products. The products in question are:
1. Charge Beverages Corp.: Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked.
2. New Century Brewing Co., LLC: Moonshot.
3. Phusion Projects, LLC (doing business as Drink Four Brewing Co.): Four Loko.
4. United Brands Company Inc.: Joose and Max.
The FDA decided to send warning letters to the companies after they had reviewed medical studies on the use of caffeine combined with alcohol and its effects and after they had performed a laboratory analysis of the drinks.
“The FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these alcoholic beverages is ‘generally recognized as safe,’ which is the legal standard,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Principal Deputy Commissioner. “To the contrary, there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern.”
The FDA said that research proves that caffeine and alcohol combined is associated with risky behaviors which may lead to hazardous or even life threatening situations and that because of this, the products violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Phusion Projects, LLC, the manufacturer of Four Loko, said they intend to remove the caffeine from their drink. The FDA is still waiting to hear from the other companies.