State News

ABC Commission allows shops refunds of alcoholic energy drinks

Posted November 18, 2010

— North Carolina's alcohol commission is allowing stores that no longer want to stock alcoholic energy drinks to get a refund from their suppliers.

State Alcoholic Beverage Commission Chairman Jon Williams said the panel on Thursday approved an exception allowing retailers to get a refund on drinks their wholesalers will take back.

Williams says it will be up to wholesalers to decide whether to provide refunds, and that could depend on what manufacturers do.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday warned four manufacturers of the drinks packing as much alcohol as four beers that the caffeine in them is an "unsafe food additive." The government could eventually seize the products if the companies continue to make and market them.

“The federal action Wednesday effectively acts as a ban on these products that were found not to be safe in their review. The N.C. ABC Commission’s action (Thursday) will make the rapid and orderly withdrawal of alcohol energy drinks from North Carolina shelves a reality,” Williams said in a statement.

The ABC Commission also recommended changes to its rules requiring beer products to disclose on their labels what stimulants they may contain. The rule changes also would allow the commission to withdraw product approval for wine or beer if future public health concerns arise.

The proposed rule changes are subject to the standard rule review process and could go into effect early next year, Williams said.


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  • davlee Nov 19, 2010

    The opposite is true. North Carolina is ranked 48th in the nation in consumption of distilled spirits, but 6th overall in revenues. Much of those revenues are distributed back to the communities to support education, training and law enforcement. With privatization, increased sales would include the increased problems that follow. The revenues currently funneled back into the communities will be lost and that burden will be passed back to the rest of us in the form of other taxes to offset this loss.
    As to these alcoholic energy drinks, an example of corporate irresponsibility at its worst. Their target market is not adults. Few adults even know they exist. They are targeting teens and yound adults. Each 23 ounce can of 4Loko contains nearly 6 drinks of alcohol. It's so potent teens call it "Blackout in a can" or "Cocaine in a can." The experts seem unanimous - it's extraordinarily dangerous and unhealthy. Encouraging reckless drinking, surely we can do better.

  • George Costanza Nov 19, 2010

    Dump the ABC department and privatize liquor sales like they do in alot of state, there goes some of the budget shortfall NC has.

  • readme Nov 18, 2010

    This whole fiasco is a complete joke. The government is treating us like a bunch of babies. On the other hand, I can't blame them. If they do nothing, then someone dies, the crybaby contituents will try to blame them because people are too lazy to read a label and think for themselves.

  • wral mods blow close my account Nov 18, 2010

    "But a rum and coke is OK?" - Fox

    Yum. I was thinking the same thing. We need to ban Redbull too - the kids(adults) just mix it with vodka.

    Better pull that glue, gas, etc

  • Deman Nov 18, 2010

    "All of these people need to be crucified for pedaling this alcohol as a sports/energy drink!"

    And who has been pedaling these drinks as "sports/energy drinks"? It clearly shows 12% alcohol...not sure how 'uniformed' one has to be to think this is an energy drink.

  • BullsEye Nov 18, 2010

    Oh my goodness! All of this because of that 1 girl who was drunk from a 4-loko.

    I remember when I was 16, and 3 beers would do the trick.

    She probably had more than 1 4-loko, got sick and now it's a big deal.

    It's no different than a Jagerbomb, and I doubt they are marketing this as a "sports" drink.

  • flapy Nov 18, 2010

    All drinks that contain more than 5% alcohol are next

  • schlitzmalt Nov 18, 2010

    I don't get what the problem is. Everyone that buys it is >= 21, and knows what's in it. Are they going to outlaw Jager-bombs at the clubs? It's the same stuff pretty much.

  • independentvoter3 Nov 18, 2010

    All of these people need to be crucified for pedaling this alcohol as a sports/energy drink!

  • The Fox Nov 18, 2010

    But a rum and coke is OK?