Delaware Attorney General targets “binge-in-a-can” drinks

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden joins 34 other Attorneys General in urging the federal government to crack down on “deceptive marketing” of super-sized alcoholic drinks, like Four Loko.

The Federal Trade Commission has charged Phusion, the maker of Four Loko, with false advertising and for failing to disclose the number of alcohol servings in one can.  A single 23.5 ounce can of Four Loko contains 12% alcohol by volume.  The FTC says even though a single can contains the alcohol equivalent of almost five beers, the drinks are marketed as single servings.  Because of its size and alcohol content, drinking a can of Four Loko has been referred to as “binge-in-a-can” or “black-out-in-a-can” becaue it equals a binge drinking episode.

“This product has proven to be dangerous to consumers, and deceptive marketing has hidden its true impact on those who drink it,” says Biden.

As part of a proposed settlement of the FTC charges, Phusion would be required to label drinks that contain more than two and a half servings of alcohol and make the containers resealable so the drinks don’t have to be consumed all at once.

“The FTC is taking a step in the right direction but should go even further to protect the public,” continued Biden.

Biden wants the FTC to limit the number of alcohol servings per can to two.  If that change doesn’t get support from the FTC, Biden wants the label requirements to cans that contain two servings instead of two and a half servings.  He says the FTC should also better define what constitutes a resealable can, and strengthen the proposed ban on Four Loko ads that show the drink being consumed directly from the can.

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