Like it or not, caffeine and alcohol are as American as Starbucks and Budweiser. But from now on, consumers looking to dabble in both are probably going to have to pick one vice or the other at a time. Last week, the FDA fired a loud warning shot over the marketing of drinks like Four Loko, Joose, and Core — alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine as an “unsafe food additive,” according to the health agency.
Here are the caffeinated alcoholic drinks affected by last week’s FDA marketing warnings (click on a hyperlinked company name to see the FDA warning letter sent to that beverage’s manufacturer):
- Core High Gravity HG Green, HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked (Charge Beverages Corp.)
- Four Loko (Phusion Projects Inc.)
- Joose and Max (United Brands Company Inc.)
- Moonshot (New Century Brewing Co.)
The FDA is warning consumers that “individuals drinking these beverages may consume more alcohol — and become more intoxicated — than they realize,” and that “drinking caffeine and alcohol together may lead to hazardous and life-threatening behaviors.” It’s not for nothing that in some circles these drinks are known as “blackout in a can.”
On the heels of the FDA’s warnings, a number of states have already banned the sale of drinks like Four Loko, including Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington. And according to Time.com, at least one wrongful death lawsuit has already been filed over the safety of Four Loko.