The makers of Four Loko have finally caved in. Just as the FDA was about to announce a decision to ban the drink from store shelves, Four Loko’s maker Phusion Projects announced Tuesday it would be removing caffeine, guarana, and taurine from the product nationwide. The company will only produce non-caffeinated versions of the beverage. In a statement, the company’s co-founders said, “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 added.”
While there is no doubt that Four Loko can be dangerous when used irresponsibly, is the correct response to ban it. I don’t think so. As in all things in life it comes down to the question of personal responsibility, common sense, and good judgement. Even water can be dangerous when drank in excess. I don’t think the governments involvement response to this issue is in any way fair to the maker’s of Four Loko. PSA’s educating youth on the product or perhaps a very visible FDA warning on the can would have been appropriate, but not simply banning it. Given the logic of this it would follow that they should ban “Crown and Coke’s” and “Redbull and Vodka’s” in bars across the land. But this product just happens to be an easy target with an easy resolution that makes lawmakers and vote seekers “seem” very concerned about their constituents.
What follows is an example of said vote seeker, getting his name out there and going the distance to show his “concern”. I think his day would have been spent better working with Habitat for Humanity to build a house – but then again that probably would not be on TV and blogs around the nation. Instead, we get to see a politician puke his guts out. Drinking so much that you barf does not make you a hero – If it did I would have a drawer full of medals.