Tuesday, 23 November 2010

FDA Warns About Health Risks of Caffeinated Alcohol Beverages

Calling them a public safety risk, the Food and Drug Administration this week shot off a letter to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcohol beverages. According to the Food and Drug Administration letters, these companies must stop adding caffeine to their beverages immediately, or must stop sales of these products.

The four companies are Phusion Projects, New Century Brewing Company, Charge Beverages Corporation and United Brands Company. Chicago-based Phusion Project is the company behind the hugely popular Four Loco brand of caffeinated alcoholic beverage. Last month, the drink was at the center of a nationwide controversy after a group of New Jersey college students fell severely ill with acute alcohol poisoning after drinking the beverages.

These drinks have become extremely popular among the college crowd. The alcohol creates a buzz, while the caffeine serves to conceal the effects of the alcohol, giving the person the illusion that he is not really that drunk. There is a high potential for binging or excessive drinking with beverages like this. A person, especially a young or inexperienced drinker, may not be able to understand when to stop drinking. Several studies have indicated that persons who drink such caffeinated alcoholic drinks have a greater chance of risky behavior than those who drink only alcohol.

Several states around the country are not waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to pull these products off the market. Many states have banned caffeinated alcoholic beverages like Four Loco. The company that manufactures Four Loco has said that it will stop adding caffeine to its beverages.

California product liability lawyers expect the FDA to have a bigger fight on its hands. While it has written the letters to just four manufacturers of these products, there are estimated to be more than two dozen manufacturers of these beverages on the market.

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