Looking for Loko Logic

Many readers believe common sense was casualty in rush to ban caffeinated alco-drinks

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Was the media outcry and action by several states and finally the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to curtail the sale of caffeinated alcoholic drinks such as Four Loko warranted? Most responses to a CSP Daily News editorial last week don't think so. Most consider the actions misguided and an overreaction.

Below is a sampling of responses received by CSP Daily News.Click here to read the original editorial.

(And click here for previous coverage of the caffeinated alcoholic beverage issue.)

I totally agree with your story on Four Loko. The fact that the government and others are using this product and a few others as a scapegoat for the true problem (underage drinking) is ridiculous. All alcoholic beverages are dangerous to people who have little experience with them, and I would have to say that Rum and Vodka would have to rate on a higher danger scale than that of Four Loko. In none of the news reports was the true problem addressed--ban Four Loko on campus. How about make sure there is no alcohol on campus for the underage drinkers to get a hold of. I can't believe that caffeinated alcoholic drinks now have to bear the weight of the problem. Now all the others that truly like the product are punished instead of facing the true problem. Red Bull and Vodka is one of my favorite drinks and often a Rum and Coke; soon the FDA will be regulating what can be mixed on premise. I have tried Four Loko, Core and Joose and have to say they are far too sweet for my liking, but can also see why they are so alluring to the college students. I'm not sure what the answer is in the whole scheme of things, but do think that the government is starting to overstep their bounds when they ban this product and are now working on banning toys from Happy Meals.

--Tedd Hupp, Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC

I agree with your assessment. Also, the college student in Florida who shot himself, I also believe was underage and had been drinking for 30 hours straight. Some of that time it was with the Loko, but also with many other products. Another story of an underaged teenager (a female) who was taking diet pills and had big problems with LOKO. Why would someone on a diet drink a LOKO and all of the calories it has? While I agree, most of the stories pertain to the underaged crowd and off-sale products do play right into that, were does the personal responsibility come into play?

--Don Brueggen, City Brewery

What college students do, soon high school students try to follow, and younger. My trouble is with cashiers thinking [Four Loko is an energy drink] and not setting a age-verification to the product or having it in a multi-basket sale, scanning other energy products and hitting multi-quantity. This one will be trouble to operators trying to stay clean and prevent stings. Because of media warnings or bulletins to the public, the public soon follows. I remember the mayor in Charlotte saying, "don't top your gas tanks." What did they do, they sucked a million gallons of inventory out of our system within 20 minutes to four hours of messaging, creating pricing replenishment costs. And many more examples--government says one thing and the public does something else at consumer retail.

--Stewart F. Gwyn

Informative and highly entertaining article. I agree that [the FDA ruling] was a kneejerk reaction to the press articles about this category of beverage. I find it interesting that we get this action by the FDA but nothing on "spice," the legal herbal marijuana.

--Steve Montgomery, b2b Solutions LLC

At some point, common sense and abiding by the law have to take precedent over a sensational news story. Interesting now that the tobacco manufacturers are "sufficiently" legislated, the government has decided it's time to focus on the alcoholic beverage manufacturers. The public need a "Public Enemy No. 1."

--Larry Williams, Monarch Custom Beverages

I agree with your article. I pray everyday for us to get back to the way my grandparents and parents saw things. You are responsible for your own actions. Enough said.

--Sheryl Mehaffey, Blythewood Oil Co.