Updated 11/14/2010 10:48 AM
Alcoholic Energy Drinks To Be Phased Out Of New York
The state's biggest beer distributors have agreed to stop selling alcoholic energy drinks within four weeks, after the beverages were linked to cases of alcoholo poisoning and death, but Senator Charles Schumer wants an outright ban. NY1's Tina Redwine filed the following report.
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Governor David Paterson and State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen announced today that they reached an agreement to contain the sales of alcoholic energy drinks in New York State.
The SLA says it is concerned about the caffeinated drinks, because they can have as much alcohol as four beers and could be potentially harmful.
According to the agreement, Phusion Products, which produces the caffeinated alcoholic drink Four Loko, must stop shipping the beverage to New York State by Friday, November 19. Phusion Products will also fund anti-alcoholism and binge drinking education programs to
The New York State Beer Wholesalers Association, which says it sells 85 percent of the state's malt-based alcoholic energy drinks, has also agreed today to stop selling those products within the next four weeks.
Bodega owners are also glad that children will no longer have access to such drinks.
"Sometimes there are kids from school, there are six different schools around here, who come to buy this but I wouldn't do that," said Noah Mosleh, the owner of New Chelsea Gourmet.
Young adults, however, are upset at the news that large beer distributors have until December 10 to clear their inventory of alcoholic energy drinks because they say its a inexpensive buzz.
"It's kind of unfair, because like any other alcohol, you should know your limits," said Zakiyah Nicklette, a Four Loko drinker.
On Saturday, Senator Charles Schumer called the agreements a giant step forward.
"I was just this week with a grandmother, whose granddaughter, Nicole Celestino, died from drinking this. There are probably many other deaths that we don't know about.
Schumer wants the SLA to go one step further and outlaw the drinks outright, as four other states have done. There are another similar drinks, like Joose, and smaller beer distributors can still sell it in New York State.
Mosleh said even though the loss of alcoholic energy drinks will cost his deli $1,000 in sales a week, he will no longer sell the beverages.
"If it's harmful, I won't sell it. I won't," said Mosleh.
On the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of these drinks.