Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said he welcomed a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would effectively ban drinks like Four Loko and Joost, which have come under scrutiny for their alleged role in several cases of alcohol intoxication on college campuses.
"These products are designed, branded, and promoted to encourage binge drinking, and I commend the FDA for acting promptly to curb their sale," Kerlikowske said in a statement. "These drinks are especially unhealthy and dangerous because they combine alcohol and caffeine — and present a further concern when used by young people."
The FDA issued a ruling on Wednesday that determined the alcohol-caffeine drinks are unsafe to market in the U.S. The manufacturers of Four Loko have responded by cutting the caffeine from their drink.
Lawmakers like Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen.-elect Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) had pushed for the FDA ban, which came after several states and colleges issued their own prohibitions against the drinks.
"Acting early to protect public health is critical and a vital component of the Obama Administration’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences," Kerlikowske said.