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California Assembly Votes to Prohibit Beer with Added Caffeine

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The California Assembly this week voted to ban the production and sale of beer with added caffeine. The state Senate approved the bill in April. Because the Assembly made changes to the bill, the Senate must now vote on the changes before it can be sent to the governor.

At least six other states have passed similar laws, the Associated Press reports. Senator Alex Padilla, who sponsored the bill, said it targets beverages that are often fruit-flavored, and are marketed in ways that are appealing to young people.

Sen. Padilla noted that caffeinated beer beverages like Four Loko, Joose, and Tilt have grown in popularity among youth and college-age students.  “Caffeinated beer beverages are marketed to youth and are a threat to public health,” Sen. Padilla said in a statement. “The added caffeine masks the effects of the high alcohol content, which can lead to binge drinking and dangerous behavior.”

In November 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the makers of seven caffeinated alcoholic drinks, including Four Loko, that their products are a public health concern and cannot stay on the market as currently formulated.

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