AUGUSTA, Maine (Legal Newsline) - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills announced on Friday that the four Maine distributors of an alcoholic energy drink have agreed to stop selling the product in the state.
Federal Distributors, Maine Distributors, National Distributors and Valley Distributors all voluntarily agreed to stop selling Joose, a product that the Food and Drug Administration recently announced contained caffeine, making it unsafe.
"I have reviewed and relied on scientific evidence that demonstrate the dangers of mixing caffeine with alcohol," Mills said.
"As these studies show, stimulants such as caffeine appear to mask the intoxicating effects of alcohol, which can lead to increased risk taking and other serious alcohol-related problems such as traffic accidents.
"The effects of these drinks are particularly harmful because they drinks are aggressively marketed to young people."
AEDs are alcoholic beverages to which caffeine and other stimulants, such as guarana, have been added at the point of manufacture. Normally packaged in 23.5 ounce cans to look like energy drinks, many contain the alcoholic equivalent of five or six beers and the caffeine equivalent of four to five sodas, Mills said.
Mills has fought against alcoholic energy drinks since 2008, when both Anheuser Busch InBev NV and MillerCoors LLC agreed to remove caffeine, guarana and other stimulants from drinks, including MillerCoors' Sparks and Anheuser's Tile.
Mills joined other attorneys general in September 2009 in urging the FDA to take a stand against high levels of caffeine in alcoholic drinks. Recent findings by the FDA resulted in informing seven AEDs manufacturers that their products were not regarded as safe and effectively banned their sale.
Four Loko, another drink that was the subject of the FDA action, was never sold in Maine because the manufacturer never applied to have it accepted and registered in the state.