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Adiós, Four Loko

Ohio bans distribution of beverage

Gillian Seaman

Issue date: 11/19/10 Section: News
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Media Credit: Denton Zhou
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The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control may not have the legal authority to halt the sales of Four Loko within the state. But that did not stop them from contacting Phusion Projects, United Brands Company, and all other manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers of all alcohol energy drinks in Ohio requesting that they cease any marketing, promotion, manufacturing, and sales. Director Kimberly Zurz stated that the Division was responding to the perceived health and safety threats alcoholic energy drinks presented. As of this Wednesday, the manufacturers of Four Loko and suppliers of Joose have agreed to desist distribution of their products in Ohio.

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."
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Issue Summary


  • A conversation with Divya Aggarwal
  • Adiós, Four Loko
  • Faculty Forum addresses questions surrounding core curriculum
  • International student programs make strides, issues remain
  • USG Brief


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  • Spartans drop first dual meet against Baldwin-Wallace
  • Volleyball returns home from their first NCAA Championship satisfied and yearning for more
  • Women to improve winning season, sixth-place finish


  • Editorial: Unwilling to think beyond the possible
  • Leading by examples: bullying starts - and ends - with parents
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Whores no more: the case for legalizing prostitution


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  • Gold Motel speaks on album, artistic processes
  • Music department caps semester with variety of concerts
  • Pizza! Pizza!
  • Sigma Psi to create "magic" with 32nd Mr. CWRU
  • Students blur gender lines in eighth annual Drag Ball
  • The rules of attraction
  • Who's wearing the pants?
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