Kids: they love flashy colors. That's why when choosing an alcoholic beverage to buy with their brother's ID, they'll go with bright cans of "Joose" or "Four Loko" instead of boring old beer. At least this is what Chuck Schumer is telling the FTC. In a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Schumer calls for an investigation into the packaging choices of alcoholic energy drink manufacturers to determine if they are attempting to befuddle parents and lure children.
Schumer writes, "It is my understanding that caffeine-infused, flavored malt beverages are becoming increasingly popular among teenagers...Frankly, it looks to me as if manufacturers are trying to mislead adults and business owners who sell these products, while at the same time actively courting underage drinkers. This type of marketing is, at minimum, grossly irresponsible." But Michael Mikhail, chief executive of the company that produces the popular alcoholic energy drink Joose, says that was never their intention. He said, "We do not target college kids. We don't condone it." Joose fans are also all for consuming the product responsibly. Thomas from Corona, CA wrote on their website, "JOOSE is the best. All of my friends and I drink at least one every time we go snowboarding. Makes it so much better! GO JOOSE!"
In November, the FDA notified about two dozen manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks that it never approved the addition of caffeine to alcoholic beverages. After a lawsuit in 2008, the makers of Sparks, one of the first alcoholic energy drinks, agreed to remove caffeine from the recipe. A Wake Forest University study showed students who combine caffeine and alcohol are more likely to suffer alcohol-related injuries than those drinking alcohol without caffeine. Especially if they're snowboarding all the time.