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Four Loko Maker Agrees to Show Alcohol Content on Can Label

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The manufacturer of the sweet-flavored “alcopop” Four Loko has agreed to change the labels of the cans so that they state the drinks contain as much alcohol as four to five cans of beer. The change comes in response to pressure from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to The Washington Post.

The FTC says the manufacturer, Phusion Projects, falsely claimed that a 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko contains the same amount of alcohol as one or two regular 12-ounce beers. Drinking a single can of Four Loko in one sitting constitutes binge drinking, according to the FTC.

The company has not admitted to any wrongdoing, but says it will relabel the drinks to better inform its customers, according to the article.

“Deception about alcohol content is dangerous to consumers, and it’s a serious concern for the FTC,” David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a news release. “Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four or five beers, but it is marketed as a single-serving beverage.”

According to the FTC, Phusion encouraged customers to enter a photo contest on its website in which they posted photos of people drinking from the 23.5 ounce Four Loko cans. The company also urged stores to stock the cans alongside other refrigerated, single-serve alcohol drinks.

In November 2010, the FTC and the Food and Drug Administration notified four companies, including Phusion, that their products were unsafe, unapproved and misleadingly marketed.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Shattah206 / October 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I wish I was convinced this would work. Methinks the youngsters drinking this stuff do so BECAUSE they can “catch a buzz” quickly without tasting the alcohol. Nor do I expect them to extrapolate, “if I drink this I need to switch to water afterwards, and I will STILL be stuck at this party for the next few hours.” Maybe I’m just a cynic . . .

  2. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com / October 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    All drink containers should have a standard drink label that identifies the # of standard drinks contained therein. Many people would be surprised to learn a bottle of champagne contains 7 standard drinks or that a bottle of table wine contains 5.

  3. Avatar of Stephanie Southall
    Stephanie Southall / October 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Alcoholic beverage containers should have to meet the same nutritional labeling guidelines as other food and beverages.

  4. Lew Bryson / October 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Agreed; but currently, that’s forbidden by federal regs. One brewer did pay for a nutritional analysis and put it on their labels, and the ATF fined them. The regs are there because someone thought it would give the people the idea that alcohol bevs were nutritious.

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