On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that the manufacturers of seven caffeinated alcoholic beverages labeled a “public healt concern” have stopped producing or shipping the products.
The FDA has sent warning letters last week to four beverage makers saying the addition of caffeine to alcoholic beverages was not approved by the agency and it was an “unsafe food additive.”
FDA said discussions with the manufacturers resulted in these actions:
• Phusion Projects of Chicago, Illinois, has ceased producing caffeinated alcohol beverages, is no longer shipping such products and expects to have all of its caffeinated alcoholic beverages off retail store shelves by 13 December. Phusion is the maker of Four Loko.
• Charge Beverages Corp. of Portland, Oregon, ceased producing its caffeinated alcoholic beverages, Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked, in September and has not shipped any caffeinated alcoholic beverages since early November.
• New Century Brewing of Boston, Massachusetts, has ceased manufacturing its caffeinated alcoholic beverage, Moonshot.
• San Diego, California-based United Brands has ceased shipping its caffeinated alcoholic beverage Joose and expects to have its product off retail store shelves by December 13. United Brands also said that it no longer markets Max, another caffeinated alcoholic beverage listed in the warning letter.
According to Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the agency’s principal deputy commissioner, last Wednesday, the warning letters followed a year-long review by the agency, FDA. It gave the companies 15 days to either reformulate their products or face possible seizure under federal law.
Experts have said the caffeine in the beverages can mask the effects of alcohol, leaving drinkers unaware of how intoxicated they are.