FDA Bans Caffeine-Infused Alcohol Drinks
The FDA gave four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic drinks 15 days to stop adding caffeine to the products or stop selling them. [source]
Siouxsie predicted this outcome last year, and stands by her assessment —
Siouxsie is not opposed to regulating alcoholic beverages or these companies, but thinks the FDA is going about it all wrong.
A ban doesn’t make sense here. People have been mixing booze and caffeine long before cans of this stuff were mass marketed. The obvious loophole in the ban is that people can simply mix the drinks themselves (or ask their favorite bartender to do so). Why not regulate the amount of caffeine contained in the beverages instead? Or regulate the way the products are marketed?
Perhaps what is even more interesting about the proposed ban is who stands to gain from it — Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and MillerCoors LLC. According to a WSJ article, these two companies voluntarily agreed to remove caffeine, guarana and other stimulants from their drinks last year. And why wouldn’t they? These two companies have multiple brands and products, and could easily shift their share of the market back to their separate caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. When the companies removed their products from the market, however, smaller companies stepped in and took over the conglomerates’ market.
Arguably, a ban by the FDA means that these conglomerates will recapture some of their market share.
Earlier this week, New York banned the distribution of one particular caffeinated-alcoholic beverage, Four Loko. Elie, from Above the Law, wrote a great piece on the ban in the New York Daily News. And, some guys from Buzzfeed made a video showing you how to make your own version of the banned beverage at home. Enjoy.