State News

ABC Commission allows shops refunds of alcoholic energy drinks

Posted November 18, 2010 12:44 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2010 3:46 p.m. EST

— 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.