In "Alcoholic energy drinks cause the jitters," the boys there write:
It comes as no surprise to learn that Four Loko, the caffeinated alcoholic drink drawing much angst these days, was thought up by three Ohio State University students. Who else but college students would seek the buzz of combining a few beers with NoDoz all in the economy of just one can?All that's fine. And with the editorial stance I agree. Especially the part where the editorialist acknowledges that the possibility may exist in which human beings might actually do things in moderation on occasion and, therefore, may not require laws to govern their behavior, always.
Last week, the FDA, after a year-long review, took steps to ban it and similar malt beverages spiked with "energy" drinks -- sometimes dubbed "blackout in a can."
While this should quell the growing nationwide movement of colleges and states enacting individual bans, it raises additional questions.
The FDA ruling and the information the agency relied on from the Centers for Disease Control cite over-imbibing as the danger. Is that risk more keen because these 24-ounce beverages are the equivalent of four beers? If so, caffeine isn't the only problem.
Or is any mixture of alcohol and caffeine risky? Is mixing Red Bull and vodka equally harmful? What about the classic rum and Coke or ending dinner with an Irish coffee -- or even just regular coffee -- after sharing a bottle of wine?
If the FDA is acting based on medical evidence rather than bowing to popular sentiment, it needs to tell the public whether the combination of alcohol and caffeine can be safe in moderation. [link]
But here's what caught my attention. The FDA's explanation for this chapter in its ongoing effort to intrude into every crevice of our daily lives, as reported by the Times:
The FDA ruled the products unsafe because caffeine can mask sensory cues, causing people to fail to realize how intoxicated they are and allowing them to continue drinking beyond safe levels.That would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous.
"Studies suggest that drinking caffeine and alcohol together may lead to hazardous and life-threatening behaviors," the FDA alert said. "For example, serious concerns are raised about whether the combination of alcohol and caffeine is associated with an increased risk of alcohol-related consequences, including alcohol poisoning, sexual assault and riding with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol."
Remember, all this hubbub arose after an incident occurred in which a bunch of college students were rushed to the hospital out in Washington because they drank a caffeine/alcohol concoction to excess.
College students drank to excess? And some of them found themselves in the hospital emergency room? Can that be?
Call out the freaking National Guard. America as we know it is in danger of structural collapse.
"The FDA ruled the products unsafe because caffeine can mask sensory cues, causing people to fail to realize how intoxicated they are." The same can be said of the other half of the equation - alcohol. Why not ban that too?
Uh ... never mind. Guess I shouldn't give these nannies any ideas, huh?