WASHINGTON (AP) - The makers of alcoholic energy drinks are on
They've been sent warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration, saying that the caffeine in the beverages is an
"unsafe food additive."
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the mix of caffeine and
alcohol can lead to what she calls "a state of wide-awake drunk."
She says the evidence shows that the drinks have led to alcohol
poisoning, car accidents and assaults. Experts think the caffeine
could mask a feeling of intoxication, leading to risky behavior.
If the companies keep making and marketing the drinks, which have been popular with college students, the government could seize
The companies have 15 days to respond to the letters -- either
explaining how they will take the drinks off the market, or defending them as safe.
The maker of one of the drinks, Four Loko, announced yesterday
that it will remove the caffeine. The company's founders say they
still believe a mix of alcohol and caffeine is safe, but that they're up against a "politically-charged regulatory environment."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)