Sen. Schumer Calls for Tighter Regulation of Alcoholic Energy Drinks

On Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer called for tighter regulations on the producers of alcoholic energy drinks such as Joose and Four Loko, arguing that “the manufacturers are deliberately trying to get young people to drink.” According to Kristin Cole of CBS New York, he believes the drinks’ high alcohol content and fruity flavors appeal too strongly to underage drinkers:

“The alcoholic energy drinks have twice the amount of alcohol of beers, at 12 percent by volume, something they proudly proclaim at the top of the can. The cans are brightly colored and come in flavors like fruit punch, and that’s why many want them marketed better – or taken off the market completely.”

Last year, the FDA commissioned studies to determine the safety of these beverages, but the agency has yet to reach any conclusions.

What do you think? Are these drinks too easily marketed to underage drinkers? Let us know in the comments.

3 Responses to “Sen. Schumer Calls for Tighter Regulation of Alcoholic Energy Drinks”

  1. Marshall Says:

    I don’t know where I fall on this one. On one hand, this seems like a slippery slope. If we regulate marketing here, do we forbid the mixing of Redbull and Vodka? How about banning black coffee the morning after? Regulating this seems like a recipe for unenforceable regulation, but hey, maybe it will create jobs in the marketing regulation business…

    On the other hand, the packaging of these products does nothing to make them look like traditional alcoholic beverages, and does not prominently note the alcohol content, or that it includes an energy drink component. The first time I saw a Joose, I thought it was just an energy drink and moved on. The second time around I looked a little closer and saw it actually had an absurd amount of alcohol in it, and then had to examine further to see that it had both.

    I don’t think that a can of any alcoholic beverage that has 3.5 times the alcohol of a single beer but an energy drink component that hides the effects of intoxication is ever a good idea, much less when it is packaged so confusingly.

    And I bet it tastes horrible.

    I don’t know that this story really provides any support for or against changing the drinking age, though I’m sure that some comments will try to make it about that. I’m not sure that the actions of the companies involved or those proposing regulation is worthy of any praise or condemnation, but I’m almost positive comments showering both will be forth coming.

    I think that at the end of the day, this product is a bad idea. I also think the regulation of the marketing of this product is a bad idea, and two wrongs don’t make a right.

  2. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with its important components. I believe that alcoholic energy drinks should be regulated rather than banned. For proper regulation, the mixing of alcohol and the energy drink shouldn’t make a person too sick and a warning should be on alcoholic energy drink bottles so that it’s hard to confuse those bottles for a regular energy drink. Chuck Schumer sounds agiest in the comment he gave but for the safety of the customers, regulation is a good idea.

  3. Marshall Says:

    I don’t think it’s ageist to say that marketing an alcoholic product to young people encourages them to buy it and drink it.