Four Loko Dumps Caffeine Ahead of Federal Ban
Four Loko to Go Caffeine-Free
Hoping to sidestep a federal ban on its flagship product, Four Loko maker Phusion Projects is removing caffeine from its alcoholic energy drinks. The move comes just ahead of a November 17 announcement by the FDA, which has been studying the safety of caffeinated energy drinks.
Phusion Projects sees which way the wind is blowing, and is removing caffeine from Four Loko so that Four Loko isn't removed from stores nationwide. So far, several states have either banned Four Loko outright or are considering doing so.
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Even as it announces the caffeine removal from Four Loko, Phusion Projects asserts that its product is safe, though comparing a can of Four Loko to a rum and Coke in terms of caffeine content is somewhat disingenuous: a giant-sized vodka-Red Bull is a more apt analogy.
"By taking this action today, we are again demonstrating leadership, cooperation and responsible corporate citizenship," the statement said.
But Dr. Orly Avitzur, medical adviser to Consumer Reports magazine, said Phusion's announcement addresses "the worst of the problem," but leaves behind "a very high-alcohol beer."
Four Loko, made with malt liquor in the US and spirits in Europe, ranges in alcohol content from 5-12%.