Schumer: Four Loko sale to be prohibited

Nov. 16, 2010 at 5:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The federal government will make products such as Four Loko, Joose and other caffeinated alcoholic beverages prohibited for U.S. sale, a senator says.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration will rule caffeine is an unsafe food additive to alcoholic beverages and therefore prohibited for sale in the United States.

Last month, nine college students from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., fell ill at a house party in Roslyn, Wash. The students were hospitalized and one student almost died.

"Let these rulings serve as a warning to anyone who tried to peddle dangerous and toxic brews to our children. Do it and we will shut you down," Schumer said in a statement Tuesday.

"This ruling should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous and toxic drinks. Parents should be able to rest a little easier knowing that soon their children won't have access to this deadly brew."

Drinks such as Four Loko and Joose have as much as two to three coffee cups' worth of caffeine and two to three cans of beer per container, a combination that can be extremely hazardous for teens as well as adults, Schumer said.

Schumer said he has been applying intense pressure to have these drinks banned because of serious risks to the health and safety of consumers.

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