Maker drops caffeine from Four Loko


The makers of Four Loko said Tuesday they would reformulate their product to remove caffeine and two other ingredients from their controversial caffeinated alcoholic beverage.

The move by Phusion Projects to remove caffeine from Four Loko came ahead of an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration today, saying caffeine added to malt alcoholic beverages is an “unsafe food additive.”

The debate over Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic beverages started after several college students across the country were hospitalized with high blood alcohol levels after consuming the beverages. Several states, including Washington and Michigan, have already banned the beverages ahead of this week’s announcements by Phusion Projects and the FDA.

George Mason University’s Office of Alcohol, Drug and Health Education has been monitoring the use of caffeinated alcoholic beverages since at least last fall, according to Director Mary Anne Sprouse.

Sprouse said her office provides education to students about these drinks and says students should know about Four Loko’s high alcohol content and the ability of the caffeine to mask the alcohol’s affects.

Phusion Projects is also removing guarana and taurine from the Four Loko formula.

“We are taking this step after trying – unsuccessfully – to navigate a difficult and politically-charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels,” Phusion Projects co-founders said in a statement about the company’s action.


To read Phusion Projects full press release, click here.
To read the FDA’s full press release, click here.
To read C2M’s past coverage of Four Loko, click here.


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