Banning Caffeinated Booze?

By toe · Nov 14, 2009 · ·
  1. toe
    F.D.A. Says It May Ban Alcoholic Drinks With Caffeine

    WASHINGTON — Top federal food regulators threatened on Friday to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks unless their makers quickly proved that the beverages were safe.

    In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration said it had told nearly 30 manufacturers of the drinks that unless they could provide clear evidence of safety, it would “take appropriate action to ensure that the products are removed from the marketplace.” Officials did not say how long such a determination might take.

    The drinks, which combine malt liquor or other spirits with caffeine and fruit juices at alcohol concentrations up to about 10 percent, have become increasingly popular among college students. In a news conference, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the agency’s principal deputy commissioner, said their consumption was associated with increased risk of serious injury, drunken driving, sexual assault and other dangerous behavior.

    The agency’s action was prompted by a letter from 19 state attorneys general, who expressed concern about the products’ safety.

    Caffeine may lead people to underestimate how drunk they are, giving drinkers a false sense of confidence that they can perform tasks they are too impaired to undertake.

    After pressure from the attorneys general, Anheuser-Busch last year eliminated caffeine and other additives from its flavored malt beverages, Tilt and Bud Extra. And MillerCoors agreed to stop selling its product Sparks.

    The brands under scrutiny, which include Joose from United Brands, are being marketed to young people with social marketing tools. United Brands, for instance, has a Twitter site to market Joose.

    A call to United Brands was not immediately returned.

    Federal law requires makers of products that combine common ingredients to prove that the combinations are safe.

    “F.D.A. is not aware of any basis that manufacturers have to conclude that the use of caffeine added to alcoholic beverages is generally recognized as safe,” Dr. Sharfstein said.

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group whose lawsuit against MillerCoors over its marketing of Sparks preceded the company’s decision to stop selling the product, praised the agency’s action.

    “For many years,” the group said in a statement, “federal regulators have stood mutely by as these potentially dangerous products, which resemble nonalcoholic energy drinks in many ways, gained in popularity among young people.

    “In fact, emerging research suggests that the young consumers of these products are more likely to be the perpetrator or victim of sexual aggression, to ride with an intoxicated driver or to become otherwise injured.”

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who co-wrote the letter to the F.D.A., said he was pleased. “Our battle against alcoholic energy drinks has stopped some products,” Mr. Blumenthal said, “but others are insidiously exploiting the void.”

    Published: November 13, 2009

    SWIM thinks- neither of these drugs is inherently safe on its own- how on Earth would combining the two produce a healthier outcome?

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  1. rawbeer
    The average person passes out when they reach 'asshole' levels of intoxication, but these products prevent this natural defense from occuring, resulting in hyper-assholes who ought to be out cold but are still going like super-jerks. These things have been annoying me for years. The tiredness that results from getting drunk is your body telling you you've gone too far. If you can't hold your liquor, don't drink it.
    Such an unsafe combo anyways. If you wanna drink coffee and brandy or whatever it's your right, but we shouldn't be encouraging this in people who are still learning to drink. I mean if you can't handle American beer and hard lemonade crap, you've got no business drinking.
  2. EscapeDummy
    Rawbeer, you make some good points, but to be fair, the alcohol content in these drinks is quite low - either the same amount as a beer, or somewhere in between beer and wine. It's not like they're selling hard liquor + caffeine shots.

    But I agree, it's a stupid combination that shouldn't really be used anyway.
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    I wonder what effect, if any, this would have on mixed drinks? not so much thinking about a rum and coke so much as the trend for redbulls and liquor. This trend is actually what popped to mind when I caught the tail end of the story on NPR today.
  4. static_vodka_420
    swim thinks this is fucking retarded if laws were enforced "young people" wouldnt e able to get these drinks anyway why go after manufacturers who create new job markets ( judging from the amount of these cans on the road and people seen drinking them very extensive job markets) instead of whoever is selling them to minors in the first place. theyre no more advertising to minors than any other alcoholic beverages theyre not even on tv commercials for gods sake. sure they taste like pissed in fruit and get people to a hyped up retard state but who cares its not like caffiene and alcohol is going to kill you or thered allready be thousands dead from jager bombs and jack and cokes. and they cant even pretend like people are mistaking these for actual energy drinks theyre kept in the beer section labeled as alcoholic and have a label that says no sale under 21. swim thinks people are less likelly to be sexually assualted on these sence theyre still wake not completelly passed out and vunerable.. its just a personal problem some individuals have with anything that is new or untested or "immorall" it allways goes to "its killing teens and making them rape each other" bullshit i say bullshit
  5. rawbeer
    My little rant included red bull cocktails - they're just as bad, and people will drink a half dozen or more in a night. And I don't think the problem is minors drinking these things - it's anyone doing it. You can drink rum and coke all night and it just won't amp you up the way red bull and sparks do. And as far as people being less vulnerable on these things...just because you're still full of energy doesn't mean you can't be blacked out drunk.
    I hate to see anything made illegal, but this one I just have no sympathy for. I mean I'd hate to see the drinking of antifreeze outlawed, but if someone passes that law you won't hear me complaining.
    People should stop trying to sneak their way around alcohol's negative effects. If you want to be a drinker you just have to learn to accept them and respect them - they're there for a reason.
  6. Euthanatos93420
    Because it doesn't affect you. I protest ALL prohibitive laws. Even ones that seem obvious. It coems back to the argument that It's my fucking body and if I decide to fuck it up that' my goddamn choice.

    Punishing stupidity does not affect the intelligence of the punished individual. Despite the popular conception that people learn from their mistakes, this is a misnomer piece of mindfucking propaganda designed to distract you from the truth that no matter how much you punish stupidity you cannot eradicate it.

    Likewise, no matter how much you punish pleasurable activities you cannot eradicate them or the church would have pushed us into extinction.

    Rather, punishment and prohibition tend to stimulate usage & seeking in the long term even if specific details may curb their usage short term in a localized area of influence around the detail.

    'Should' is an entirely relative term. Your statment is propagandastic, generalizing and insulting to my intelligence.

    Correctly stated it looks like this:

    IF people want to have better health/more pleasant recovery/safer experience/etc. THEN they should not mix high amounts of caffeine and alcohol.

    If it turns out that this is a significant problem to to misconceptions/ignorance among the populace then educating campaigns to bring light to the issue among the masses can be undertaken. Likewise if the act tends to cause an individual to become more violent and/or otherwise infringe on other people's rights then Law should be put in place to restrict LOCATION of usage to one more heavily moderated.

    Outright banning of a particular substance/combination is ridiculous. Like guns U& drugs, making them illegal will never get rid of them, only make the market for them more profitable for criminal syndications and remove public oversight and understanding of the substance and statistics surrounding it.

    Personally I think Alcohol is highly overrated, Vodka & red bull is one of the nastiest combos I've ever had. But a shot of Scotch/Rum & Cream/Chocolate Liquor in a mug of coffee a time or three during a time i choose to get drunk is an aid to the experience the rare times I do choose to drink beyond a few beers/wine glasses with a meal. So I'd be pretty shitty about this Ignorant law, and your ignorance support/lack of concern about the issue.
  7. Motorhead
    Methinks the ban is geared as much towards the flavour of this stuff as well as the caffeine content. It's akin to the ban on flavoured tobacco. These drinks may have the same or slightly higher alcohol content than regular beer, but one can easily slam more of these tasty drinks down in a shorter amount of time than beer or mixed liqour. I don't think this is leading towards any massive prohibition campaign against alcohol-just another measure geared against college age binge drinking.
  8. rawbeer
    Yeah the combo isn't being banned - it's the marketed encouraging of this combo that is being banned. I know that my stance here makes me something of a hypocrite, I just don't care. I have been offended and infuriated by so many users of these products that I hesitate to go to bars that serve them, or where they are widely consumed.
    Despite my hatred of rave culture (for purely aesthetic reasons) I was disgusted when glow sticks and pacifiers were labeled drug paraphrenalia. It's a back door way of legislating cultural norms. But I don't see how the ban on these energy/booze products could lead to any sort of infringement of a person's rights - red bull is still legal, so is booze, if you really want to, mix em. When I lived in Switzerland years ago a bar would serve you both but they could not legally mix them together. That, in my opinion, is a good middle ground solution to this problem, leaving the choice ultimately in the hands of the individual.
    I'm glad to be a propagandist hypocrite on this one, just like I'd be glad to strip a nazi of his right to free speech, or strip an immature college student of his right to behave like a big, drunken child. Marketing IS encouraging, and encouraging this combo is irresponsible, especially when the target market is people with little drinking experience. This is legislation against such marketing, not legislation against combining legal stimulants and depressants. And legislation against irresponsible marketing...I'm cool with that.
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