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FDA Crackdown on Energy Drinks With Alcohol

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, November 16, 2009 12:43 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Caffeine, FDA, Alcohol, Energy Drinks, GRAS, Generally Recognized As Safe

The FDA wants to know more about energy drinks with added alcohol.

Caffeine and Alcohol


IMAGE SOURCE: Lotus Vodka Web site

27 makers of so-called energy drinks, a favorite of young drinkers, are getting some attention from the Food and Drug Administration.

The drinks contain some mixture of caffeine and alcohol and are marketed under provocative names such as Evil Eye, Max Fury, and Slingshot Party Gel.

The FDA wants to make sure that the products are safe since the agency has never approved the combination caffeine/alcohol.

The drinks are the next generation to the Red Bull energy drinks.

While alcohol eventually intoxicates, caffeine makes you wide awake and could lead to a wide-awake drunk.

A task force of state attorneys general urged the FDA in a September 25th letter to scrutinize the combination. “The ultimate goal is a nationwide ban on alcohol-energy drinks marketed to young drinkers,” said Conn. Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal, a co-chair of the task force.

“We’re asking for their side of the story,” said Joshua Sharfstein, the FDA’s deputy commissioner.

To date, caffeine in alcoholic beverages has been listed as GRAS, generally recognized as safe.

Makers have 30 days to respond to the FDA request, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Already Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have suspended sales of caffeinated alcoholic drinks after a task force investigation.

The chief executive of Lotus Vodka, Rob Bailey says his drink contains caffeine, vitamins and other ingredients and it marketed to consumers in their 30s for fine dining, not as an energy drink. #

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