cnn: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the manufacturers of seven caffeinated alcoholic beverages Wednesday that their drinks are a "public health concern" and can't stay on the market in their current form.
The move follows a year-long review by the FDA, which gave the companies 15 days to either reformulate their products or face possible seizure under federal law, said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the agency's principal deputy commissioner. Experts have said the caffeine used in the beverages can mask the effects of alcohol, leaving drinkers unaware of how intoxicated they are.
"FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these alcoholic beverages is 'generally recognized as safe,' which is the legal standard," Sharfstein told reporters. "To the contrary, there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern."
One of the companies that received warning letters was Phusion Projects, of Chicago, Illinois, which makes Four Loko -- a drink nicknamed "blackout in a can" by some users. The company announced Tuesday that it was dropping caffeine and two other ingredients, guarana and taurine, from Four Loko in the face of "a difficult and politically-charged regulatory environment."
The other companies are San Diego, California-based United Brands, which manufactures the Joose and Max brands; Portland, Oregon's Charge Beverages Corp., which sells Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked; and New Century Brewing of Boston, Massachusetts, which makes Moonshot.
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