News Brief

FDA Acts On Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks

While not declaring an outright ban on alcoholic beverages containing caffeine at present, the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday issued warnings to four makers based on its determination that such beverages do not meet the legal "generally recognized as safe" standard.

The beverage makers must inform the FDA within 15 days of what actions they will take to prevent any further violations. If the FDA believes that violations have not ceased, it can pursue enforcement options that include seizing products or an injunction to stop a company from producing a beverage until it meets safety standards. The warning procedure often is the initial step in pulling products off the market, according to an FDA source quoted by ABC News.

The four companies warned are Four Loko maker Phusion Projects LLC (which late yesterday announced it would voluntarily remove caffeine from the beverage brand); Charge Beverages Corp. (Core Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, Lemon Lime Core Spiked); New Century Brewing Co. (Moonshot); and United Brands Company (Joose and Max).

As expected, the Federal Trade Commission also announced that it had sent letters to these companies notifying them that marketing the beverages may violate the FTC Act by constituting an unfair or deceptive practice.

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