November 17, 2010

Say Goodbye To Four Loko As You Know It

True, we've done a lot of posts lately on Four Loko, the alcoholic energy drink that has taken Vassar and college campuses across the nation by storm, but now it seems that the end is finally here. The drink's parent company, Phusion Projects, announced in a statement last night that the product will no longer contain certain ingredients, including caffeine. The move comes after a year-long FDA investigation, increased criticism in recent weeks, and state-wide bans in five states including New York.

The company announced the decision to remove these ingredients before the FDA presented its findings, which was scheduled for the near future.

"We have repeatedly contended – and still believe, as do many people throughout the country – that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe," the statement reads. “We are taking this step after trying – unsuccessfully – to navigate a difficult and politically-charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels."

Caffeine is considered the most dangerous aspect of Four Loko because it masks the effects of the alcohol. Guarana and taurine, ingredients found in energy drinks like Red Bull, will also be removed. Versions of the drink will still be available without those ingredients.

On Sunday, in response to the announcement of a New York State-wide ban on sales of the drink, Dean Roellke told Mads, "I am not surprised by the action that New York has taken as it is clear that Four Loko and drinks like them are really dangerous and clearly marketed toward young adults."

College students everywhere have already reacted to the announcements. An image reading "I'm With Loko" in the style of the "I'm With Coco" image is becoming a popular Facebook profile picture, and a blog post on "How to Make Your Own Four Loko Homebrew" has gone viral.

According to an inside source, local Poughkeepsie Four Loko carrier Oasis has been inundated with requests in the last few days from students who want to order large cases of the drink.

This whole ordeal is nothing new. Sparks, which hit the market in 2002 and also combined alcohol, caffeine, guarana, and taurine, was forced to remove certain ingredients in 2008. It remains available without caffeine.