The Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania (MBDA) today urged its members statewide to voluntarily remove the alcohol and energy drink called Four Loko from their shelves because of health and safety concerns
“Until the safety questions and other concerns about Four Loko are resolved, MBDA is asking its members not to sell this item,” David Shipula, MBDA President, wrote in a letter to more than 600 beer distributors.
“We hope all other licensee trade associations will carefully consider this issue and advise their members also to halt sales.” Shipula, a Wilkes-Barre beer distributor, said the voluntary removal call was approved by the MBDA board of directors at a Sunday meeting.
“Many directors noted they pulled the item from their shelves after reading about the alleged health risks associated with it. At least one state has already stopped all sales of the product and the FDA is being asked to assess whether or not Four Loko is a safe product.” Shipula said.
The beer distributor’s action comes 10 days after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board sent a letter to all licensed beverage sales outlets statewide including bars and restaurants also urging a voluntary end to sales.
“MBDA has always believed in and promoted the idea that beer and all alcoholic beverages should be used only by those over the age of 21 and only in a responsible manner,” Shipula said in his letter.
The fruit-flavored drink, which combines an alcohol content of 12 percent with caffeine and other stimulants typically found in energy drinks, has been linked to a number of cases of alcohol poisoning requiring hospital treatment.