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READER POLL: As FDA Calls Four Loko Unsafe, What's Your Take?

on November 24, 2010 9:10 AM

Update, posted @ 9:10 a.m. Wednesday:

The FDA decision restricting Four Loko and related drinks is a good thing for State College and probably for other college communities, too, borough police Chief Tom King told

"I think the drink serves no purpose other than to get intoxicated very quickly," he said in a phone interview.

King said he is aware of several State College-area crimes in which people involved had been drinking Four Loko. In one local incident, a drinker reported that the beverage had an "effect different from anything they had consumed" before, King said.

And in at least one case, he said, someone who drank Four Loko reported having blacked out for a few hours.

"We've had several cases (involving Four Loko) that we know of -- and I'm sure more that we don't know of," King said.


Original report, posted @ 5:56 p.m. Nov. 17:

Several commercial alcoholic energy drinks -- including Four Loko -- aren't safe enough for human consumption and must be either reformulated or taken off the market entirely, the federal Food and Drug Administration announced.

The news broke Wednesday, as the FDA told the makers of Four Loko, Joose, Moonshot and Core High Gravity HG that their alcohol- and caffeine-rich drinks don't meet federal safety rules. has the story covered here.

According to the USA Today piece, the beverage makers have 15 days to come into compliance. If they don't, the federal government could seize the drinks and sue the companies responsible for them, the report notes. (Earlier coverage: Found near Stabbing Scene, Four Loko Worthy of Concern)

Four Loko's manufacturer, Phusion Projects, already announced Tuesday that it will make over the product to remove its caffeine.

But "a high-alcohol drink with caffeine taken out of its formula remains a high-alcohol drink. Nobody should think otherwise," Penn State Vice President for University Relations Bill Mahon wrote in an e-mail message today. He is a former co-chairman of a local town-gown partnership that strives to undermine dangerous drinking.

"Every community in the country has an alcohol challenge," Mahon went on. "I think the State College alcohol challenge would be a little less difficult without high-alcohol-content drinks being promoted. It is disappointing that businesses sell this in a town with as many alcohol-related tragedies as we have had in State College in recent years."

So what's your take? Vote in our poll below, and feel free to leave comments in the forum provided at the bottom of the page.


POLL: Four Loko Poll

Is the FDA making the right move, forcing beverage manufacturers to reform their ways?

Yes: Four Loko seems to be a real threat to public health.
No: Keep the government away from my drinking habits.
Undecided: I'm not loco enough to take a position on this one.
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