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November 17th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

To Drink or Not to Drink

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned four companies that their caffeinated alcoholic beverages have brought about several health concerns and could be seized under federal law. It was reported that government officials in several states have began taking action towards banning some alcoholic energy drinks from stores. The caffeine level in the drinks can mask the effects of alcohol, not allowing drinkers to recognize the amount of alcohol that has been consumed.

Some say that consuming one Four Loko is equivalent to consuming a few cups of coffee and a few beers. The FDA began to research this drink in 2009, and the research went into overdrive in October when nine underage students at a university in Washington were hospitalized after consuming Four Loko along with mixed drinks. Officials advise consumers to drink responsibly, and that mixing these drinks may not be in your best interest because there is no way to tell when enough is enough.

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soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Barbara Johnson

    I live in the College Town where this event occurred. It is crucial to protect our young people...when they are vulnerable to the capitalistic vultures...who don't care if young people die...as long as they peddle their dangerous products.

    It is about time...an 'authority' (FDA) did something quickly, instead of waiting for people to die to protect them.

    Barbara

    November 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  2. Marlee

    I think this is all about personal responsibility. People who are drinking these drinks are usually underage or of young drinking age. While they are dangerous, all alcohol is and should be drunken responsibly. By taking these drinks off the market it sends a message that these companies are doing something wrong,they are not–they are being consumed improperly.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  3. Ric Thomas

    A: they were underage drinkers
    B: they could've benefitted from being told the difference between Four Loko & beer
    C: Two legal ingredients, caffeine & alcohol
    D: Educate & let the market decide, not the FDA who should be concerned with more important thing than student's irresponsible behavior.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  4. Joshua

    It seems a little ridiculous to ban drinks like this. It's not like someone can't drink coffee and alcohol simultaneously, anyway, not that that would taste particularly good. But things like "Yager bombs" have been around for a long time, and achieves essentially the same thing; high alcohol, high caffeine content.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  5. Emanuele Lombardi

    This is as bad as the new warning labels for cigarettes. The problem is not the beverages the real problem is raising the legal drinking age to 21. In other countries using alcohol safely is taught. Here, unless you drink illegally, you magically know how to drink safely when the calendar says so. Alcohol poisoning is real and inexperienced drinkers are prone to underestimate the amount of alcohol consumed anyway. Does the FDA plan to ban coffee too.

    EL

    November 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  6. Ginger

    If they take away these drinks, people will just make mixed drinks with other non-alcoholic energy drinks, which will make it worse because the alcohol content will probably be more in a mixed drink.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Loko Cartel

    I have secured a stash of Loko to last me at least a year. Molon labe.

    November 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  8. Joe

    Although I believe these drinks are very detrimental to your health, especially to the heart, I don't think that it's the FDA's responsibility to dictate how we mix our drinks. If Four Loko is taken off the market, people will continue to take other energy drinks and mix them themselves. It's always the responsibility of the drinker to moderate him/herself. However, better warning labels and awareness of using uppers and downers should be communitcated.

    November 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  9. Bianca Rodriguez

    This doesn't make sense to me. Adults mix energy drinks with liquor at bars, clubs and various social events. Like with many privileges, one person can ruin it for everyone else. Compromises should be made with the companies instead of outlawing them all together.

    November 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
  10. Brandi

    Someone must teach youth to drink responsibly, Whether it be the parents or a mandatory course by the university. Last time I checked, I selected what I put into my body, not the makers of Four Loko. What is the difference in a Four Loko and going to buy a five hour energy shot to drink with a mixed drink. Educating the youth about boundaries with drinking would not eliminate the problem but greatly reduce it. Nobody can blame being an idiot on drinking a drink that they choose.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  11. Jenny

    they were underaged. they should not have been drinking. why blame the drink for some stupid kids mistake.

    November 19, 2010 at 11:17 am |