Governor Paterson and Chairman Rosen Announce Four Loko to Stop Shipping Alcoholic Energy Drinks to Ny
ALBANY, NY (11/14/2010)(readMedia)-- Governor David A. Paterson and State Liquor Authority (SLA) Chairman Dennis Rosen today announced that the SLA has reached a voluntary agreement with Four Loko producer Phusion Products to stop shipping alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants to New York State by Friday, November 19, 2010. In addition, Phusion Products has agreed to fund alcohol awareness programs to educate licensees and consumers about the dangers of alcohol and binge drinking.
"New Yorkers deserve to know that the beverages they buy are safe for consumption," Governor Paterson said. "The voluntary agreement reached this weekend between beverage distributors and the State Liquor Authority is an important first step toward permanently removing alcoholic energy drinks from the marketplace. I'll continue to work with the beverage industry to protect the safety of all New Yorkers. I'd like to thank Chairman Rosen for his efforts on this issue and the beverage industry for working with the State to achieve this agreement."
Governor Paterson also announced today that the State's largest beer distributors have voluntarily agreed to stop selling malt beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants. Under the voluntary agreement reached late Saturday, beer distributors will stop placing orders for these alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs) immediately, and will be given until December 10, 2010 to clear their inventory of the products, with retailers given an additional time to sell off existing stock.
SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen said: "We have an obligation to keep products that are potentially hazardous off the shelves, and there is simply not enough research to show that these products are safe. I want to thank the industry, particularly the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association, for stepping up to the plate and helping us accomplish this in an orderly fashion. I also want to thank Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and State Senator Jeffrey Klein for bringing these issues as well as the dangers of binge drinking among youths to the forefront."
The agreement was reached after extensive conversations between industry leaders and the State Liquor Authority regarding concerns over the potential dangers of these products, including the caffeine content and its potential to mask the effects of alcohol in the short term. After determining there is not enough evidence to ensure these products are safe for consumption, distributors agreed to voluntarily stop selling the products within an agreed upon time frame.
Steve Harris, President of the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association, said: "We commend Chairman Rosen and his staff for their willingness to work with the industry regarding this difficult issue. We are pleased to be a partner in the process of resolving the tangled issues that have surrounded these products."
Alcohol Energy Drinks are flavored malt beverages in which caffeine or other stimulants such as guarana, taurine or ginseng, have been intentionally added in high levels by the manufacturer. AEDs do not include products that are flavored with coffee or real tea.
Since he was appointed by Governor Paterson, Chairman Rosen has reformed the State Liquor Authority and dramatically reduced the wait time for a liquor license. In August of 2009, the SLA had 3,001 pending license applications, including approximately 2,000 in New York City and approximately 1,000 in the rest of State, while applicants were forced to wait up to a year in New York City and six months upstate. Today, the backlog of applications has been reduced to approximately 500 in New York City and zero in upstate New York. Wait times for applicants have similarly been reduced, to approximately four months in New York City and 30 days in upstate New York.
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