Producers of Alcoholic Energy Drinks Cease Product Shipments

Four small brewing companies have heeded warnings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and have agreed to stop shipping their seven alcoholic energy drinks.

The companies and their products are:

  • Charge Beverages Corp.: Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked
  • New Century Brewing Co., LLC: Moonshot
  • United Brands Company Inc.: Joose and Max
  • Phusion Projects, LLC (doing business as Drink Four Brewing Co.): Four Loko

Last month, the FDA deemed caffeine added to malt alcoholic beverages is an “unsafe food additive” and said that further action, including seizure of their products, was possible under federal law.

Many states, prompted by coalitions, have recently instituted bans, and others have taken or are considering similar steps. States are the primary regulators of alcoholic beverages and have full authority to ban alcoholic energy drinks whether by regulatory or legislative action, or through attorney general enforcement.

Mike Tobias, Michigan Alcohol Policy’s executive director, was one of the coalition leaders who recently banned alcoholic energy drinks in his state.

“Michigan Alcohol Policy is pleased that these companies are finally stopping shipments of their alcohol energy drinks. Although this took more years than we would’ve liked, we applaud the Food and Drug Administration’s recent ruling that caffeine is not a safe additive to alcohol.”

The announcement about halting shipping was announced the same week as the results of a University of Maryland School of Public Health study that suggests college students who routinely consume highly caffeinated energy drinks are at significantly higher risk for becoming alcohol-dependent.

Study author Amelia M. Arria and her colleagues looked at data collected from a survey of nearly 1,100 college students. “We do think that when you drink energy drinks you prolong your alcohol consumption and drink past the point of intoxication because you’re awake longer, which leads to bad consequences,” Arria said in a news release. The study will be published in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.