Four Loko Losing the Caffeine
Makers change recipe ahead of FDA crackdown
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2010 2:43 AM CST
The current Four Loko recipe is equivalent to drinking three cans of beer and three cups of coffee.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – The embattled makers of Four Loko are changing the recipe of the drink nicknamed "blackout in a can." The alcohol is staying, but the drink will no longer contain caffeine, guarana, and taurine—three of the "Four" in its name. The move comes as the FDA prepares to announce the results of a review of high-caffeine alcoholic drinks, the New York Times notes. Michigan has banned the drink, as has Washington state and numerous communities and campuses around the country.

The FDA is expected to announce today that it has determined that caffeine is an unsafe substance to add to alcoholic beverages, a finding Four Loko's makers dispute. "If it were unsafe, popular drinks like rum and colas or Irish coffees that have been consumed safely and responsibly for years would face the same scrutiny that our products have recently faced," said a statement from the company. A Florida family is suing the company, claiming the three drinks their son consumed—equivalent to 18 light beers and 6 cups of coffee—led to his accidental shooting death as he waved a loaded gun around drunk.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Nov 17, 2010 2:37 PM CST
So Vodka & Red Bull will disappear now?
Nov 17, 2010 12:20 PM CST
when will we as a society learn that just because you ban something doesn't necessarily make it go away. it makes it even more desireable to some folks. in a supposedly free country adults should be able to "pick their poison" as my father used to say. what are they going to do...arrest folks who order rum and coke? can't buy a red bull in a bar? WTF? how many dangerous drugs have the FDA allowed on the market with minimal research? crazy knee jerk reactionalists.
Nov 17, 2010 11:44 AM CST
I guess now people will have to mix the alcohol and red bull themselves?