Four Loko's novelty was its caffeine-powered punch on top of the whopping alcohol content. If you take away the caffeine (and the taurine and guarana), you're left with... well, just a pretty crappy cheap alcoholic beverage.
And that's what Four Loko is about to become. The company that produces the liquid cocaine posted a statement last night that said it will no longer manufacture the drink with caffeine. This comes in the face of increasing national pressure and signs the FDA is set to announce any minute now a thumbs down on the crazy concoction.
The company also agreed to stop distribution in Ohio after the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control asked for such a measure since Ohio can't technically ban the drink without a legislative change.
Cry those tears, Ohioans. Those caffeine- and booze-addled tears.
Statement from Four Loko after the jump.
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 faced.
In addition, if our products were unsafe, we would not have expected the federal agency responsible for approving alcoholic beverage formulas — the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) — to have approved them. Yet, all of our product formulas and packaging were reviewed and approved by the TTB before being offered to consumers.
We are taking this step after trying — unsuccessfully — to navigate a difficult and politically-charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels.
Over the last several months we have been more than willing to talk with regulators and policymakers on the national, state and local levels. Our company has a history of being as cooperative as we possibly can to ensure that our products are consumed safely, responsibly and only by of-age adults.
We hoped that clear, consistent, industry-wide standards regulating pre-packaged caffeinated alcoholic beverages would be the outcome of these conversations. We also hoped others would share our commitment to transparency and fairness.
By taking this action today, we are again demonstrating leadership, cooperation and responsible corporate citizenship."