A few posts ago, BevWire reported that the United States’ FDA had banned the sale of alcoholic energy drinks (previous post link here). Warning letters were sent to Phusion Projects (Four Loko), Charge Beverages Corp. (Core), New Century Brewing Co. (Moonshot ’69) and United Brands Company Inc. (Joose and Max) to pull the drinks off the shelves, and either reformulate the beverage without the stimulants or cease sales completely. Though no specific instructions were given on how to dispose of these products, The National Beer Wholesalers Association’s spokeswoman Kathleen Joyce said the NBWA advised the manufacturers to work with state regulators to ensure the products were handled in compliance with the FDA directive and any state laws. So what becomes of these drinks that can no longer be sold but are already produced?
It turns out these beverages are stripped down to its basic components, and converted into multiple products that’s safe for consumption and other usage. Environmental facilities have been receiving cases of these alcoholic beverages to process and recycle. the facility takes the beverages, distills the alcholic content and sells the converted product (fuel) to be mixed with gasoline. The rest of the beverage shipments are also recycled; the aluminum cans, cardboard boxes, water, wodden pallets are sold to recycler.
Though none of these beverages are for sale in Canada and Health Canada has not officially banned the sale of pre-mixed alcoholic energy beverages either. Canada’s Health Minister says an investigation is on-going on how these beverages will be regulated. As an extension, the labeling requirements for regular energy drinks as natural health products will also be investigated to determine if the current ingredient table format is sufficient. Stay tuned on as this story unfolds.