The caffeine-infused cultural phenomenon known as Four Loko will no longer contain caffeine, guarana or taurine, according to a statement last night from its producer, Phusion Projects. The company remained defiant, saying, "the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe."
Doctors would disagree with that statement, but whatever. And what is Four Loko without the caffeine? Another run of the mill, shitty alcoholic beverage in a can. Several states have moved to ban the drink, and the FDA is expected to say that it doesn't like Four Loko very much either, maybe even today. So, as we bid farewell to the malted nastiness that was Four Loko, here is Phusion Projects' statement in full:
We have repeatedly contended – and still believe, as do many people throughout the country – that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe. If it were unsafe, popular drinks like rum and colas or Irish coffees that have been consumed safely and responsibly for years would face the same scrutiny that our products have recently faced.
In addition, if our products were unsafe, we would not have expected the federal agency responsible for approving alcoholic beverage formulas – the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – to have approved them. Yet, all of our product formulas and packaging were reviewed and approved by the TTB before being offered to consumers.
We are taking this step after trying – unsuccessfully – to navigate a difficult and politically-charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels.
Over the last several months we have been more than willing to talk with regulators and policymakers on the national, state and local levels. Our company has a history of being as cooperative as we possibly can to ensure that our products are consumed safely, responsibly and only by of-age adults.
We hoped that clear, consistent, industry-wide standards regulating pre-packaged caffeinated alcoholic beverages would be the outcome of these conversations. We also hoped others would share our commitment to transparency and fairness.
By taking this action today, we are again demonstrating leadership, cooperation and responsible corporate citizenship."
[Image via AP]