Buffalo (WKBW) The frenzy is back over the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko. Despite being banned in New York, those bright cans will soon be reappearing on store shelves. After making a huge splash on college campuses and in convenience stores across the country, the drinks were banned in several states. But now to the thrill of some and to the dismay of others, they're back!
Four Loko was previously a malt beverage with high doses of both caffeine and alcohol. But after several incidents across the country raised flags and health concerns over the drink, it was deemed unsafe and even harmful.
Senator Chuck Schumer warned that the combination of alcohol and caffeine can hide how drunk you get. Sally Yageric, a local expert on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, said "they really are very dangerous drinks and people think they're nothing because you can buy them off the grocery shelf."
In November, New York State banned the drink called "liquid cocaine" and "blackout in a can." So the makers of Four Loko decided to take out the caffeine, and re-release the new-look "Loko."
In a press release, Chris Hunter of Phusion Products, the maker of Four Loko, said "Four Loko XXX Limited Edition does not contain caffeine or other stimulants. We're in complete compliance with federal and state regulations, and we're looking forward to continued cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration and state alcohol boards in 2011."
With a new year comes a new product, drawing some of the same criticism.
"They have no redeeming qualities. There's nothing good about the product and there's too much harm associated with it," Yageric said.
But it is also is drawing the same interest. Comments like "I think it might even be better now after they banned it," and "people drank it before, so they're going to drink it again," were common.