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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Gansler asks health officials to remove alcoholic energy drinks from Maryland's store shelves

By John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for gansler-new.jpgMaryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) said Friday afternoon that he is working with state health officials to quickly remove the inventory of caffeinated alcohol beverages from store shelves in the state.

Gansler sent a letter to Maryland Health Secretary John Colmers asking him to use his department's authority under the Maryland Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to prevent any further distribution and sale of Four Loko and other alcoholic energy drinks.

In the wake an announcement this week of a federal plan to outlaw the drinks, there has been a rush to purchase what remains on the shelves.

"The danger to the health and safety of Marylanders, especially our youth, will not be alleviated until the last cans and bottles of these adulterated and mislabeled beverages are removed from all store shelves in Maryland," Gansler said in a statement Friday.

Gansler has been active on the issue for several years, working through the National Association of Attorneys General, which pushed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take action.

His aides were irked this week when Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) announced that he had secured voluntarily agreements from the Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association and the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association to ask their members to voluntarily halt distribution of the beverages.

Gansler said in an interview Thursday that the action, which received attention in several news reports, would have little practical impact unless the products were immediately removed.

Gansler and Franchot are among several Democrats eyeing the party's nomination for governor in 2014.

By John Wagner  | November 19, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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