Perdue: Stop sale of Four Loko

November 12, 2010 4:51:03 PM PST
After a series of reports on "Four Loko" - a beverage that contains a mix of high concentrations of alcohol and caffeine - Governor Beverly Perdue has called on manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw malt beverages containing stimulants from the North Carolina market until they are found to be safe.

ABC11 has reported that teens and college students who consumed the drinks have ended up hospitalized because they didn't realize how potent they can be.

Experts say the drinks can lead to dehydration which causes alcohol to be absorbed differently by the body. They also can keep the drinker awake longer - leading to more alcohol consumption.

Perdue's office said the North Carolina ABC Commission will look at possible restrictions on the sale of alcohol energy drinks at a meeting November 18.

"Teenagers and college students are drinking these drinks and ending up in the hospital," Perdue said. "The time to act on this is now, before we are faced with the death of one of our young people. The only responsible way to allow these drinks on our shelves is to first carefully review their health effects," said Perdue in a statement.

The beer-based beverages are fruit-flavored and contain 12 percent alcohol. The drinks are sold in convenience stores, groceries and other locations that hold ABC permits in North Carolina.

Michigan, Utah, Oklahoma and Washington State have issued short-term emergency bans on such products. The federal Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing their safety.

Last month, nine college students in Washington State were hospitalized after a drinking binge that included alcoholic energy drinks.

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