Four Loko, a popular drink among college students nation-wide, has been stirring up controversy at some universities and has been banned in five states.
In October, nine students from Central Washington University were hospitalized after drinking excessive amounts of Four Loko. Multiple deaths across the country have also been blamed on the drink.
In November, Washington, Michigan, Utah, Kansas and Oklahoma prohibited stores from selling Four Loko and several universities banned the drink
Four Loko is a alcoholic energy drink. The popular beverage stirred debates over the health issues it can cause.
The 24 ounce drink contains twelve percent alcohol by volume, which is close to the amount of alcohol in four beers.
In combination with a high level of alcohol, it contains artificial caffeine and ingredients similar to other energy drinks such as taurine and guarana.
“I feel that with everything moderation is key,” Sarah Dunn, a junior middle grades education major said. “However, I have heard a lot of negativity about these drinks so it makes me not want to even try them.”
In Valdosta, some stores considered pulling Four Loko off the shelf.
“I don’t feel like they are any worse than any other drink on the market like joose,” Chris McReady, a Smitty’s employee said. “Smitty’s still carries them. People just don’t consume some drinks in a safe manner. Drinking a Four Loko is no different than someone taking too many Jaeger bombs.”
After the Federal Drug Administration threatened to look into the dangers of the beverage, Phusion Products, the company which produces Four Loko, released a statement that the caffeine will be removed from Four Loko.
“I practically live off of energy drink stuff, but if it was going to be deemed illegal it probably is best they change it,” Heather Anderson, a sophomore, said.
Currently, shelves around Valdosta are still stocked with Four Lokos, energy ingredients and all.
“Four Loko isn’t really a big seller here. We order maybe five cases at a time,” one local convenient store clerk said. “When there was talk about Four Loko possibly getting banned, we had adults calling in asking if we still carried it. We heard about the possible ban and did research on the product and the ban. The alcoholic content is high, but until we’re told to remove them, they’re still here.”