[UPDATE BELOW] Well, it was a fun ride, but now teenagers will just have to go back to
chugging Mad Dog and Colt 45 to get themselves blacked out twiddling their thumbs until they're 21, right? The State Liquor Authority has pressured the state's biggest beer distributors to stop selling caffeinated alcoholic drinks to New York retailers by December 10th. The makers of the controversial beverage have also agreed to stop shipping the drink to distributors by November 19th. SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen told the Daily News,"I hope this will end the sale of this product in the state."
Jaisen Freeman, co-founder of Four Loko producers Phusion Projects, gave a backhanded endorsement of the deal, saying, "We think it shows that we are not turning a deaf ear to what's going on: that a select few have chosen to abuse our products, drink them while underage or break the law and sell them to minors." The agreements came after a sting operation showed 28 stores in the Bronx selling the beverage to minors. Senator Jeff Klein said, "It is clear that teens in this city have no problem getting their hands on this dangerous drink. It has to stop." However, should the bad decisions of a select few keep the entire city from responsibly enjoying the sweet, blackout-inducing nectar?
Eddie Huang, chef and unofficial Four Loko spokesman, continued to speak out on his blog yesterday after his Thursday-night Four Loko party was shut down. He wrote, "Basically, the SLA doesn't have the power to ban a substance that already gained federal approval from the FDA. Yet, Schumer wants to re-write the law and circumvent this issue because it takes the FDA longer to approve/ban a substance since there are stricter guidelines on the research. But, if we are going to circumvent the law whenever we disagree and have the political backing to do so, what's the point?"
[UPDATE] Jaisen Freeman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Phusion Projects sent us this statement, clarifying the company's stance on the recent agreements:
We understand that the Board wants to address alcohol abuse and underage drinking. The only effective way to do that is with stricter enforcement of existing alcohol laws and more education and awareness. This is why the alcohol education component of this agreement was important to us. We still believe that combining caffeine and alcohol is safe - if that weren't the case, Irish coffees and rum and colas would be under scrutiny as well. But we want our company to be known for cooperation and collaboration, not controversy.