Attorney General Gansler Asks Secretary Colmers to Exercise Statutory Authority to Remove Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages from Store Shelves
MD ( Nov. 19, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today sent a letter to Department of Health Secretary John Colmers requesting that the department act quickly to remove inventory of caffeinated alcohol beverages from store shelves in Maryland. Earlier this week, at the urging of attorneys general across the country, the Food and Drug Administration notified the makers of the most popular caffeinated alcoholic beverages that they were “adulterated” and in violation of federal food health standards.
Attorney General Gansler asked Secretary Colmers to exercise his authority under the Maryland Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to take all steps available to prevent any further distribution and sale of these unsafe, adulterated and mislabeled products wherever found in Maryland.
“Recent news reports indicate that as a result of the FDA's action, there is a rush to purchase and consume the CABs that remain on store shelves,” said Attorney General Gansler. “The danger to the health and safety of Marylanders, especially our youth, will not be alleviated until the last cans and bottles of these adulterated and mislabeled beverages are removed from all store shelves in Maryland.”
Last year, Attorney General Gansler asked the FDA to determine that the use of caffeine in alcoholic beverages is not “Generally Recognized as Safe,” or “GRAS,” under FDA law (http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/2009/111309.htm). Last November, the FDA informed manufacturers of AEDs that it was not aware of any basis for concluding that the use of caffeine in alcoholic beverages is GRAS and gave them 30 days to submit substantiating data, warning that if it determined that the use of caffeine in their alcoholic beverages is not GRAS, the FDA would take appropriate action to ensure that the products are removed from the marketplace. FDA's warning letters issued this week require that the manufacturers take prompt action to correct their violations of federal law, and that failure to do so may result in enforcement action.