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Posted at 10:52 PM ET, 11/16/2010

Four Loko loses its caffeine, guarana and taurine

By Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson

Let's raise a glass and toast the bitter end of Four Loko. Well, at least the Four Loko that gets you drunk and hyper at the same time.

Phusion Projects, which manufactures the popular alcoholic energy drink, announced Tuesday night that it would reformulate its products and remove caffeine, guarana and taurine. (Company statement) The decision comes amidst a growing number of community and campus bans on the product, more than two months of negative publicity, and expected action by the Food and Drug Administration as early as Wednesday.

FourlokoAPPic.JPGEarlier this week, the company agreed to voluntarily cease sales in New York. And on Tuesday, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that the FDA plans to rule caffeine an unsafe substance to add to alcoholic beverages, "effectively making products such as Four Loko, Joose, and others like them, prohibited for sale in the United States."

Despite the plans to reformulate Four Loko, Phusion Projects' three founders -- friends who met as undergrads at Ohio State University -- maintain that the beverage is safe as it is.

"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."

Four Loko was named for its main four ingredients (caffeine, taurine, guarana and alcohol), and it's unclear what will happen now that the drink is losing three of those four.

You can read more about the decaffeination of Four Loko in a Post article, here.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | November 16, 2010; 10:52 PM ET
Categories:  Night Life  | Tags:  Four Loko  
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Comments

Manufacturers of four Loko and other 'alcopops' are marketing to youth, even adding sweet fruity flavors to get them addicted to TWO drugs (caffeine and alcohol),so they will buy their products forever. Why do you think caffeine is in EVERYTHING now? Even potato chips for cryin' out loud:

http://www.ethicsoup.com/2009/02/caffeine-is-in-everything-how-much-is-in-you.html#more

Besides, there's something else to consider. According to new research this year, there is a gender effect with caffeine -- it is more addictive for boys than girls:

http://www.ethicsoup.com/2010/01/caffeine-gender-effect-caffeine-more-addictive-for-boys-than-girls.html

Posted by: s_mceachern | November 19, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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