National Consumers League

Four Loko labels changing


By Teresa Green, Linda Golodner Food Safety & Nutrition Fellow Several years ago, Four Loko, a caffeinated alcoholic beverage, gained notoriety for its role in the hospitalizations of several college students.  Amid enormous public scrutiny and rumors that the FDA was planning to ban the drink, the product was reformulated to remove the caffeine.  Despite this important change, concerns about the drink still remained.  At long last, these concerns will finally be addressed by a settlement finalized by FTC.  This settlement will do two important things to protect consumers.

  1. Four Loko will be required to seek approval for an alcohol facts label.  This label will bear important information about alcohol content and number of servings per container, information consumers need in order to make informed decisions about consumption.
  2. Four Loko will also be required to make the packaging resealable so that the product can be consumed over multiple sittings.
These changes will hopefully lead to a safer and healthier product.  Certainly the strong enforcement action the FTC has taken sends a message to all companies that they need to be honest with consumers and scrupulous about their labeling.