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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “poised” to ban the sale of premixed caffeine-and-alcohol drinks such as Four Loko, which have been linked to the deaths of some young people and sending others to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Phusion Projects, which makes Four Loko, said yesterday that it will “remove stimulants caffeine, guarana and taurine from its products nationally.”

According to Phusion CEO Chris Hunter, the company made the decision to change its formulations after unsuccessfully trying “"to navigate a difficult and politically charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels.”
KC's View:
See, I have a problem with the while “politically charged” comment.

My objection to these drinks is not political. My outrage is parental.

I have a problem with companies that market products oft-described as “blackout in a can” and “liquid cocaine.” (And don’t tell me that the company objects to these characterizations. That may be the public perception, but I’d be willing to bet that they’re just a little bit thrilled with those descriptions.) I have a problem with selling products that seem designed to appeal to young people’s worst instincts, to encourage bad decision-making.

Yes, people can mix rum and coke. People can have Irish coffee. But there is not just a semantic difference here. What companies like Phusion are doing is exploitive.