According to yesterday's NY Times, doctors are calling the drink "one of the most dangerous new alcohol concoctions" they have ever seen because the caffeine hides certain effects of the alcohol. Eighteen attorneys general and New York Senator Charles Schumer have spoken out against the drink and the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are launching investigations.
Further, an article in today's LA Times explains that Central Washington University is temporarily banning the drink - a move Ramapo College in New Jersey did recently - after so many students took ill. In addition, Washington's Attorney General is seeking a state-wide ban on the drink.
Phusion Projects, the masterminds behind the drink, posted a statement on their website yesterday responding to the Central Washington University ban. Notably, the statement is less apologetic than it is defensive. It states that Four Loko received all the blame when other alcoholic drinks were consumed. In addition, Phusion says that underage drinkers are the issue, not the product's marketing or contents. "Curbing alcohol abuse on college campuses will not be accomplished by singling out a lone product or beverage category," the company writes. Phusion also compares the alcohol-caffeine combination to "having coffee after a meal with a couple glasses of wine."
Apparently one of the gay men tortured in the Bronx three weeks ago was forced to comsume ten cans of Four Loko.
But not everyone is as concerned as those as Ramapo and CWU. "It’s important to put this drink in perspective and lose the stupid hysterics," one Vassar alumnus writes on his blog. "Four Loko is a fad... This elixir will run its course and will eventually be replaced by something else."
Meanwhile, Dean Roellke and various committees and students continue to plan for a space on campus to serve as an alcohol-free alternative to Vassar parties.