Archive for Monday, November 22, 2010

Statehouse Live: Kansas bans alcoholic energy drinks Four Loko, Four Maxed, Joose and Max

In this Nov. 10, 2010 file photo, Four Loko alcoholic energy drinks are seen in the cooler of a convenience store, in Seattle. On Nov. 22, 2010, the Kansas Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control banned all flavors of Four Loko, Four Maxed, Joose, and Max. (AP Photo | Elaine Thompson)

In this Nov. 10, 2010 file photo, Four Loko alcoholic energy drinks are seen in the cooler of a convenience store, in Seattle. On Nov. 22, 2010, the Kansas Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control banned all flavors of Four Loko, Four Maxed, Joose, and Max. (AP Photo | Elaine Thompson)

November 22, 2010, 4:08 p.m. Updated November 22, 2010, 5:07 p.m.


— The state of Kansas on Monday ordered that a new wave of energy drinks that include caffeine and alcohol be pulled from the shelves.

The ruling by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control was put in place immediately and affects all flavors of Four Loko, Four Maxed, Joose and Max. Distributors were ordered to retrieve all unsold packages of those products no later than Dec. 1.

Kansas officials acted after an announcement last week by the Food and Drug Administration, which said the drinks were not safe.

“The division’s concern for the health, safety and welfare of Kansas citizens along with the FDA’s recent ruling validate that these products should no longer be on Kansas shelves,” said Tom Groneman, director of the ABC.

A typical alcohol energy drink is 24 ounces and has 12 percent alcohol content, which is three to four times the alcohol content of a 12-ounce beer.

In a notice sent to suppliers and distributors of alcoholic energy drinks in Kansas, Groneman rescinded previous approval of the product.

Under state law, Groneman has broad discretionary powers to govern alcoholic drinks in a manner to protect the public health.

In his note, Groneman said: “General knowledge indicates that the combination of stimulants (caffeine and other ingredients founds in energy drinks) and depressants (alcohol) can place an undue strain on the heart and central nervous system, cause dehydration, and hinder the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Based on the FDA’s finding and general knowledge of the effects of caffeine and alcohol on the human body, I find that these alcoholic drinks do not promote the public health and welfare and must be withdrawn from sale in Kansas.”

Kansas joins at least two other states, Michigan and Washington, that have stopped the sale of the products.

Phusion Projects, the Chicago company that makes Four Loko, had announced earlier this month that it would reformulate its product to remove the caffeine. The company said the combination of alcohol and caffeine was safe but said it was changing because of the “politically charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels.”


kansasredlegs 5 years ago

"The concern for the health, safety and welfare of Kansas citizens ... validate that these products should no longer be on Kansas shelves,” said Tom Groneman, ABC Director.

In that case Mr. Groneman, all ALCOHOL should be banned since even when used has directed, it causes much problems for the health, safety and welfare of Kansas citizens than any other consumer product.

DrRustinMcGillicuddy 5 years ago

And I can go to any restaurant on Mass and order a double whiskey and coke, that is often times much stronger. But how much stronger? Who knows! At least the alcohol content is controlled in these drinks. This is just going to continue to encourage students to drink other strong mix-drinks - except now they won't know the alcohol content. Horray for "trashcan punch" and Everclear concoctions!

DrRustinMcGillicuddy 5 years ago

You're taking something that's regulated, and deregulating it.

stlcards515 5 years ago

Next on the agenda we have a budget deficit. Hmm, let's put that off. Who wants recess?

superhans 5 years ago

Time to stock up. Retailers have until the 1st of the year to get rid of their product.

Soap 5 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Steve Jacob 5 years ago

Hasn't the FDA ruled cigarettes as "not safe". If so, lets ban those. I am all in favor of restricting the sale to minors, but personal choice has to factor in too..

VTHawk 5 years ago

I don't like this nanny-state policies. Are these drinks terrible (tasting) and potentially dangerous: yes. Are college students just going to continue manually mixing the drinks instead: you 'betcha. In all honesty, the fruity drinks that disguise the taste of alcohol are far more dangerous (since young folks, girls especially, often don't realize how much alcohol they have consumed).

pizzapete 5 years ago

I agree Larry, I'm wanting to try it now.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

I guess I should grab a bottle of Kahlua and Bailey's Irish Cream before they are pulled from the shelves.

Dirtman24 5 years ago

that chick enjoys her job and those test strips rotflmfao u go girl, maybe she drank one of those Four drinks hehe

gccs14r 5 years ago

Groneman may have been a Sebelius appointee, so can't necessarily blame this on the GOP. If neither she nor Parkinson appointed him, though, then by all means let loose with a broadside at the so-called small government GOP.

Matthew Del Vecchio 5 years ago

Can't wait until the FDA raids It's Brothers for selling Red Bull and Vodka. I'm sure they will have no trouble finding the place being that the Herb shop they love so much is right next door. Good Grief.

MrMEtoo 5 years ago

haha! well said. once again, like k2, our trust government protecting us from ourselves! now if only I had a job to afford these simple pleasures in the first place...

ralphralph 5 years ago

I believe I can hear Carrie Nation polishing the axe.

Gov-Elect Sam has preached about putting our focus on the "core functions" of State government. I am hopeful (?) that such core functions do not involve controlling the legal decisions of adult Kansans based on a paternalistic concern for our well-being. A guy can hope, can't he?

labmonkey 5 years ago

Left wingers want to control our lives through taxation and extreme environmentalism. Right Wingers want to control our lives through religion and moralism. The are really one in the same.

labmonkey 5 years ago

I guess there will be more college parties with "bullfrog." You buy the limeade concentrate from the freezer section, and instead of mixing four cans of water with it, you mix three to three and a half cans of water, and a half to one can of everclear. Aaah, brings back memories (or lack of memories I should say).

somemisfits 5 years ago

You know, it's possible to drink TOO much water. People have died from water intoxication. Shall we ban water next?

slowplay 5 years ago

You all live in Knasas, what did you expect? Most of you voted for these idiots, what did you expect? How many are going to contact your Representative, rather than whine in the comment section of the LJW? None. How many of you are going to vote for the same clowns in 2012......? You reap what you sow. Maybe the manpower needed to enforce this ridiculus piece of legislation will create more jobs.

aa469285 5 years ago

ABC acted independently of the legislature- as they can legally do. Your political rant is therefore, irrelevant.

slowplay 5 years ago

True, but it felt good and rightous to vent :)

Jimo 5 years ago

'In his note, Groneman said: “General knowledge indicates'

Translation: we've never had any actual problem with these drinks that had been approved by Groneman previously but hey who needs evidence before imposing a ban on serving caffeine and alcohol outside of a country-club setting. (Everyone knows that when served in the right environment rum and coke is safe. Priced high enough and even a White Russian can seem sophisticated.)

These are the same idiots who spent decades telling us that if Kansas didn't ban direct purchases of wine that adolescents, using their parents credit cards, would order up a case of Chateau Lafayette weeks in advance of planned booze parties and harm themselves.

I'm sure the Tea Party will organize protests of big government by ABC an day!

somedude20 5 years ago

So their are death panels now but they only kill alcoholic energy drinks ! You can have my double tall capt and coke when you pry it from my cold, dead hand

gsxr600 5 years ago

Haters gonna hate.

Stocked up on them already. Come at me law man.

That thing has 600+ calories in a can though lololololol

TheEyeofUS 5 years ago

“Those who would trade freedom for a little temporary safety deserve neither freedom nor safety.” -Ben Franklin

Is anyone, besides Ben or me, getting tired of the Gov. telling us “for our safety” all the time? If so, when will this reflect in the elections?

lawslady 5 years ago

"Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop. Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good."

From "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinline. 1966

lawslady 5 years ago

Can the "state" (Government) ban a particular type of product? Yes - the state has the authority to regulate and even ban certain things. See drug laws. See laws banning prostitution. See laws banning certain guns. See laws banning all kinds of conduct and products. Can the state lawfully ban THIS product? Remains to be seen - if a challenge to the ban is even brought.

Evan Ridenour 5 years ago

The FDA ruling already effectively banned the products. The real question is why the legislature felt the need to waste time banning something that was already banned.

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