Michigan Liquor Control Commission Unanimously Passes Motion to Reconsider the Packaging of Alcohol Energy Drinks

Contact: Andrea Miller 517-322-5898
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

September 13, 2010 (Lansing, MI) The Michigan Liquor Control Commission unanimously passed a motion at its quarterly meeting on Sept. 9th to reconsider the packaging of alcohol energy drinks.

This move will allow the Commission to take any corrective action in the labeling of these products to determine if the labels promote "intemperance, or intoxication" or are found to be "detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public," contrary to Rule 436.1611(1)(d).

"The decision was made in light of the several studies regarding these products, the widespread community concerns aired by substance abuse prevention groups, parent groups and various members of the public, as well as the FDA's decision to further investigate these products. The Commission believes it is necessary to reexamine alcohol energy drinks and how they are marketed to ensure that the public health, safety and welfare are protected," said Nida R. Samona, Chairperson of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

Alcohol energy drinks are typically flavored malt beverages infused with significant amounts of caffeine, amino acids such as Taurine and natural stimulants such as Guarana. These are usually sold in single cans and marketed in brightly colored containers that are confusing to both consumers and retailers. Given how alcohol energy drinks are marketed, they can be difficult for retailers to identify, and many parents, school officials and even law enforcement officials may not notice that their child is consuming a product containing alcohol. The alcohol content of these products can range anywhere between 5% and 12% alcohol by volume. And at a cost on average less than $5.00 per can, these products are easily accessible and affordable.

"The Commission has monitored how alcohol energy drinks are packaged, labeled, the alcohol content of each product, and the size of each product. Having considered the dangers associated with alcohol energy drinks since granting our initial approval; and because the administrative process allows the Commission, upon discovery, to correct any errors that might have occurred in the application of its labeling rule, the Commission felt it necessary to entertain this motion," said Samona.

Please visit the MLCC website (www.michigan.gov/lcc) for the motion in the completed format and more information regarding this and other important information.