U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, is calling on the federal Food and Drug Administration to immediately halt Palcohol, a powdered alcoholic product, from getting federal approval and hitting store shelves this fall.
Schumer said palcohol is easily concealable, can be mixed with water and sprinkled onto food, and can be snorted. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulates the alcohol industry as it relates to taxation and labeling, and recently approved Palcohol's labels only to quickly rescind those approvals the same day. However, TTB and Palcohol have noted the temporary repeal of those approvals is only due to a technical, and easily addressed, issue with the amount of powdered alcohol in each package. Palcohol plans to soon resubmit the labels for approval, which could be the last step before the product is produced and marketed to the general public this year.
Schumer is asking the FDA to stop these approvals, given that the agency shares authority with, and can supersede the TTB in regulating alcohol products when there are significant health concerns, like in the case of Four Loko. Schumer said the FDA should look into health concerns surrounding Palcohol.
"With powdered alcohol on its way to store shelves by this fall, we're sitting on a powder keg. Clearly our food and drug safety experts must step in before this mind-boggling product, surely to become the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking, sees the light of day," Schumer said. "Palcohol can be easily concealed and brought into concerts, school dances and sporting events, it can be sprinkled on food and can even be snorted. Given that the federal TTB can only judge and approve new alcohol products based on labeling and taxation, it's clear the FDA must utilize their authority to intervene when alcohol products create significant health risks - as they did with Four Loko -and stop this potentially deadly product in its tracks."
Palcohol is made by company Lipsmark LLC, and is freeze dried alcohol produced in a powder form. According to the company's website, the company plans to release six types of Palcohol packets including vodka, Puerto Rican rum, cosmopolitan, mojito, powderita (margarita) and lemon drop. The vodka and rum pouches can be combined with water or another liquid to instantly create an alcoholic beverage.