WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration is challenging makers of alcohol-infused energy drinks to prove their beverages are safe, citing complaints the products can cause risky behavior and injury.
The FDA issued a letter yesterday to 30 beverage manufacturers, giving them 30 days to provide evidence that the combination of caffeine and alcohol is safe.
“Today the FDA has listed caffeine only as an ingredient for use in soft drinks,’’ said deputy commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein. “The agency has not approved caffeine for use in alcoholic beverages.’’
FDA officials stressed they have not reached a conclusion about the safety of beverages like Joose and Charge. Instead they are questioning the companies’ legal rationale for marketing the products.
The FDA decided to take action at the urging of state attorneys general from New York, California, Maryland, and 14 other states, who contend the drinks appeal to underage drinkers and encourage reckless behavior.