The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will effectively ban the sale of beverages that combine caffeine and alcohol, including Four Loko and Joose, by ruling that caffeine is an unsafe food additive, according to Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
In a press release, the Senator also announced that the Federal Trade Commission will notify manufacturers that they're potentially marketing the products illegally.
A spokesperson for the FDA would not confirm the release, adding that the agency announced a review of the products in November 2009. She could not comment on a projected date for completion of the review.
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Schumer said in the release that the ruling, when it occurs, "should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous toxic drinks."
On Monday, Connecticut Attorney General and the state's senator-elect Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg calling for the ban of the energy drinks.
And this week, the New York liquor authority and the state's largest beer distributors agreed to stop selling the drinks, according to the release. Oklahoma, Utah, Michigan, and Washington enacted similar bans on Four Loko after college students had fallen ill or died after drinking it.
For instance, an 18-year-old Long Island resident, Nicole Lynn Celestino, allegedly died in August of cardiac arrest after drinking four cans of Four Loko on top of a diet pill she had taken earlier in the day.
And the family of 20-year-old Jason Keiran of Florida is suing the drink maker over claims that it caused him to behave so erratically that he shot himself.
Four Loko contains 12 percent alcohol by volume, and is sold in 23.5-ounce cans.
According to a report in Monday's New York Times, the FDA could act as early as Wednesday.