Adiós, Four Loko
Ohio bans distribution of beverage
Issue date: 11/19/10 Section: News
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The Divisions' actions may not have been entirely necessary. After a rash of negative press from reports of multiple individuals who experienced severe alcohol poisoning from drinking Four Loko, Phusion Projects announced this past Tuesday plans to remove all caffeine, guarana, and taurine from their products. Effectively removing the energy from their alcoholic energy drinks.
Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink produced in 23.5-ounce cans with either 6 or 12 percent alcohol by volume, depending on state regulations, has roughly the same amount of caffeine as a tall Starbucks coffee.
The company continues to argue the combination of caffeine and alcohol is not inherently unsafe. Phusion Project's three co-founders, Chris Hunter, Jeff Wright, and Jaisen Freeman, have said, "We have repeatedly contended - and still believe, as do many people throughout the country - that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe."
The idea that a mixture of caffeine and alcohol can be safe is somewhat questionable to Case Western Reserve University manager of community development Skip Begley. "Basically you're beating all your body's inherent defense mechanisms against the alcohol until you're going to be at a point where you're in a lot of trouble," he said. "I don't think anybody, no matter what age, is thinking enough about [what the] effects of a depressant and a stimulant are doing to your system. You're able to drink more of it and you're not going to feel the effects until you just flat-out drop."