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Lawsuit Claims Four Loko Made FSU Student Shoot Himself

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

Tallahassee, Florida --

(Original story link below)

For years, people have looked to coffee to give them a jolt to get through the day - and alcohol to loosen up. but some say mixing a stimulant and a depressant may be a buzz kill.

A couple of years ago, the flavored malt beverage Four Loko burst onto store shelves giving consumers a jolt while getting drunk.

While some FSU students say they aren't loco for Loko's taste, they'll drink it for the effect anyway.

Wesley Ayala says, "I don't really like it. It's just easier to get drunk quicker. Half way to a quarter of the way though it you definitely notice." Matt Berka says, "My friend was like try it it's really potent it was good- I mean it's not good but it gets you drunk., It gets the job done."

But over the past year, the energy drink has been under a microscope by the Food and Drug Administration for the effects it has on the body.

The can does say it contains alcohol- but what it doesn't tell you is that it's an equivalent of 6 lights beers and two cups of coffee- some say a recipe for disaster and now- the FDA does too.

"That's why they call this liquid cocaine- crack in a can or black out in a can."

The brightly labeled fruity flavored beverage also appeals to younger drinkers like 20-year-old FSU student, Jason Keiran who shot and killed himself back on September 17th. Keiran's parents say he was under the influence of Four Loko and filed a lawsuit against its maker- Phusion Products.

The Keiran's attorney, Don Van Dingenen says, "The problem with Four Loko is it's got such a high concentrate of alcohol, but all of these caffeinated stimulated products so the individual doesn't go to sleep. Instead they're totally wired. That's when all of the dangerous things happen."

After sobering findings, the FDA announced Wednesday that the stimulated recipe for Four Loko is banned.

An attorney for the Keiran family says the ban is one step closer to getting justice. Now they want to see the company pulled from the shelves altogether.

While Phusion Projects agreed to take out the stimulants, it maintains the caffeine/alcohol combination is comparable to an Irish coffee or rum and coke combination.

For the original story, go to the link below:

http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/103164089.html
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WASHINGTON (AP) --

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce a virtual ban of alcoholic energy drinks, even as a leading manufacturer is pulling its products off the market.

The FDA is expected to say Wednesday, Nov. 17 that caffeine is an unsafe food additive to alcoholic drinks, a move that would effectively
ban them from sale. College students have been hospitalized after
drinking the beverages, including the popular Four Loko, and four
states have banned the drinks.

Phusion Projects, which manufactures Four Loko, announced late
Tuesday, Nov. 16 that it would reformulate its drinks, removing caffeine.
While there is little known medical evidence that the drinks are
less safe than other alcoholic drinks, public health advocates say
they can make people feel more alert and able to handle risky tasks
like driving.


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