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White House backs ‘Four Loko’ ban

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. 

Tags Charles Schumer Richard Blumenthal
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