FDA puts burden of proof on caffeinated alcohol brands to prove ‘safety’
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday notified nearly 30 caffeinated alcohol manufacturers that they provide documentation that their products are safe. Drink makers have 30 days to respond to the FDA request.
Some of the companies notified are familiar names, most notably New Century Brewing Company which produces Moonshot. New Century is owned by Rhonda Kallman who was featured prominently in the recent movie ‘Beer Wars.’ Others in the craft/specialty/regional category are Thomas Creek Brewery, Cold Spring Brewing Company and Ithaca Beer Co.
The FDA never has approved the addition of caffeine to an alcoholic beverage, and a task force of state attorneys general and other officials has urged the agency to scrutinize the combination. The task force argues that the caffeine can mask the intoxicating effects of alcohol, possibly leading to an increase in drunk driving, sexual assault and other destructive behavior.
Miller and Anheuser-Busch removed caffeine from their brands Sparks and Tilt last year.
In the absence of FDA approval, the burden of proving that a new combination of food or drink is safe falls on the manufacturer, said Joshua Sharfstein, the agency’s principal deputy commissioner.
“We’re asking for their side of the story,” he said. “Why they consider adding caffeine to be safe or legal.”
If the FDA determines that caffeine in the alcoholic drinks is unsafe, it could force them off the market.
The companies and brands that were notified are:
Charge Beverages Corporation
Products: Liquid Charge, Liquid Core, High Gravity Core
United Brands Company, Inc
Products: Joose, Max Vibe, Max Fury, Max Live, 3Sum
Phusion Projects LLC
Products: Four, Four Loko, Four Maxed
Point Blank Beverages Co.
Hard Wired Brewing Company, LLC
Products: Hard Wired
Mix Master Beverage Co
Catalyst Beverage Company
New Century Brewing Company
Melanie Brewing Co
Products: Evil Eye
Thomas Creek Brewery, LLC
Products: Mobius Lager
Diageo North America, Inc
Products: Smirnoff Raw Tea Malt Beverage
Products: Wide Eye
The P.I.N.K. Spirits Company/Prohibition Beverage Inc
Products: P.I.N.K. Vodka, P.I.N.K. Tequila, P.I.N.K. Rum, P.I.N.K. Gin, P.I.N.K. White Whiskey, P.I.N.K. Sake
Delicious Brands Inc.
Products: Lotus Vodka
Products: 3AM Vodka
Moet Hennessey/Millennium Import LLC
Products: Belevedere IX
Products: Gravity Vodka
Wingard USA (Importer)
Products: V2 Vodka with Caffeine, Everglo Vodka
Products: Vicious Vodka with Caffeine
Rocktail Drinks/Liquid Manufacturing LLC
Products: Slingshot Party Gel
Cold Spring Brewing Company/Atomic Brands
Products: A:M Carpe Noctern
808 Spirits Co.
Products: 808 Mango Beat
Gaamm Imports Inc.
Products: Booya Espresso Silver Tequila with Caffeine
Ithaca Beer Co.
Products: Ithaca Eleven Malt Beverage with Coffee
Gluek Brewing Company
Products: Gruv Malt Beverage with Guarana
MHW, Ltd and Niche Import Company
Products: Agwa De Bolivia
Rizer Spirits Inc
Products: XZO Vodka with Caffeine, Taurine, and Guarana