Is Four Loko, an alcohol-caffeine drink also known as "Black Out in a Can", safe?

on 27/10/10 at 12:29 pm

Booze News

The media has scrutinized companies producing beverages that combine alcohol and caffeine after nine party-going Washington University students were hospitalized after consuming Four Loko, also known as “Black Out in a Can.” The hospitalized students had blood alcohol levels ranging from .123 to .35. Levels above .3 are considered lethal.

The FDA sent letters to approximately thirty manufacturers responsible for production of over forty such alcoholic energy drinks, asking for proof that their products are safe in November of 2009. The FDA stated in those letters that it has not yet determined if the addition of caffeine to alcoholic beverages is safe, and was curious how the companies had been able to make such a determination. “The agency is not aware of the basis upon which you have or may have concluded that your use of caffeine in an alcoholic beverage is GRAS (generally regarded as safe),” it read. “Nor are we aware of a basis for concluding that your use of caffeine in these beverages is prior sanctioned.”

Many of these products’ packaging are created to appear like an energy drink on retail shelves, but contain a high percentage of alcohol.

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