Blumenthal wants ban on alcoholic energy drinks

Keith Loria Nov. 16, 2010, 3:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - After several incidents in which people were hospitalized, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Monday that he has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban alcoholic energy drinks.

Last year, Blumenthal and other attorneys general contacted the FDA with concerns over these products, saying that they may not have met the agency's Generally Recognized As Safe standard. In response, the FDA began a review in November 2009.

"After a year of mounting and alarming evidence, I urge your agency to complete its work as soon as possible and impose a nationwide ban on these dangerous and potentially deadly drinks," Blumenthal said in a letter to the FDA. "Since FDA commenced its review, evidence has only increased that alcoholic energy drinks are unsafe and unacceptable under the GRAS standard."

Nine Washington state college students were hospitalized recently after consuming an alcoholic energy drink known among users as "blackout in a can."

"Alcoholic energy beverages are a witch's brew of stimulants and alcohol, creating wide-awake, energized drunks who pose a serious threat to themselves and others," Blumenthal said. "By masking the effects of alcohol with a stimulant, they encourage risky behavior and dangerous overconsumption-as has happened in Washington state and elsewhere."

Blumenthal called on the FDA to finish its review into the matter as soon as possible and to ban the potentially harmful beverages.

Blumenthal helped lead states that reached agreements in 2008 with Miller-Coors and Anheuser-Busch to stop producing alcoholic energy drinks.

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