Just a few weeks ago I wrote about Four Loko, a new alcoholic energy drink that is gaining attention from college students and lawmakers alike. However, while college students might be raving about the drink, lawmakers are definitely not. In fact, according to a recent NPR report, several states are considering banning Four Loko and other drinks like it.
Four Loko is extremely potent: in Washington State, nine college freshmen landed in the hospital recently with near-lethal blood alcohol levels after drinking the beverage. Female students who had consumed Four Loko were apparently unable to talk or sit up. One of the students taken to the hospital after that October incident almost died.
According to experts, if you’re a 135 pound female and you consume two Four Loko drinks, you can reach the toxicity level for alcohol poisoning. As a result of the recent reports, 18 attorneys general have recently pressured the Food and Drug Administration to take a closer look at Four Loko’s ingredients and determine if it is actually safe to consume the beverage. However, Jeff Wright, the owner of Phusion Projects, the company responsible for manufacturing Four Loko, his company shouldn’t be blamed for the Washington students’ irresponsibility. Instead, he states:
“It’s kind of unfair in this example that our product is being singled out,” Wright says. “I mean, according to the police report, there was hard alcohol at this function. There were multiple different types of alcohol there.”
Nevertheless, considering Four Loko cans have no serving recommendations, calorie count, or caffeine content on the can’s label, it’s a pretty far stretch to say that Phusion Projects doesn’t have some responsibility in the situation. It’s awfully difficult to assume that college students will know how much is too much Four Loko if there is no label indicating these basic facts.