Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Four Loko For Loco

The Nanny State is very fast these days:

Federal agencies moved aggressively Wednesday to eliminate from the market the potent alcoholic “energy” drinks spiked with caffeine that have become wildly popular on college campuses in recent years.

In letters to four companies, the Food and Drug Administration said it had concluded that adding caffeine to alcohol created “adulterated” products that were unsafe and illegal. If the companies do not take action within 15 days, the FDA could begin seizing the products or seek a court order barring companies from continuing to sell the products.

Simultaneously, Treasury Department officials announced that, based on the FDA’s conclusion, the companies would be told that the products had been mislabeled and were, therefore, illegal to be shipped. And the Federal Trade Commission informed the same four firms that marketing their seven products risked violating federal law.

The drinks, sometimes called a “blackout in a can,” contain high levels of alcohol and caffeine. The mixture creates a state of “wide-awake drunk” that makes it difficult for people to realize how intoxicated they are and enables them to consume far more alcohol than they otherwise would without passing out, officials said. That puts them at increased risk for alcohol poisoning, engaging in risky behavior such as driving drunk, and committing or being the victims of sexual assaults, they said. Consuming one can of Four Loko - the most popular product - has been compared to drinking five cans of beer and a cup of coffee.

Now, forget that this sort of thing can be created by anyone with a soft drink and a bottle of alcohol—I’m fond of rum and coke myself.  Ignore the instant screaming over a few high-profile incidents which would likely be lost in the noise of alcoholic mayhem if not for the involvement of “energy” drinks—young people get drunk and alcohol-poisoned by the thousands just fine without them.  Ignore that it’s perfectly legal to drink far more potent stuff—like whiskey.

What amazes me is how fast and how hard the uber-tolertant Obama Administration has moved here.  There’s been almost no public debate, certainly no evaluation of just how dangerous these things may or may not be.  They reacted, quickly and brutally, to something supposedly bad that people were putting into their bodies (the same has been going on, at the state level, with salvia divinorum).  And their actions have caused at least two of the makers to slink away in terror.

(Also notice that the two students they quote about this are under age.  Maybe if we relaxed or eliminated our ridiculous drinking age, students would be sophisticated enough not to bother with such vile stuff (or maybe not—young people are stupid).  But that’s another argument.)

We are increasingly ruled by hysterics who are more interested in what the media is bleating about than science, information and data.  It’s one thing to ban or restrict known carcinogens like cigarettes or known dangerous drugs like alcohol.  But to ban before even trying to find out how bad these are? Because, of the thousands of people who go to hospitals or drive drunk because of alcohol, an unknown number involved these drinks?  That’s the Nanny State on Four Loko.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 11/18/10 at 10:38 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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