Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Company Subpoenaed for Information About its Caffeinated Beer Products

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday that attorneys general in Maine, New York, Maryland, Arizona and Iowa have subpoenaed Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Company for information about its caffeinated alcohol drinks. In the past, these same states’ AGs, with the exception of the Arizona, wrote a letter to federal authorities regarding the marketing of Anheuser-Busch’s Spykes and Miller’s Sparks. Spykes was eventually pulled from shelves. (Read: Attorneys General ask for Federal Investigation of Caffeinated Beer Advertising)

Critics of such caffeinated alcoholic drinks have argued that the drinks attract underage drinkers with their labeling and marketing and dangerously mix a stimulant (caffeine) and depressant (alcohol).

Says Francine Katz, vice president of communications and consumer affairs at Anheuser-Busch’s domestic beer subsidiary, “It is important to realize that the AGs are investigating products whose formulation and labeling already have been approved by the federal authorities, as well as by those states that require state liquor authority approval.”

In related news, The Marin Institute is urging the public to tell CBS News to air a story a local Florida affiliate produced about the Sparks alcoholic energy drink. The Miami station broadcast a series called “Powerful Potions” that “took a provocative, ground-breaking, look at Sparks.” Part 1 of the series found that Sparks actually contains 214 milligrams of caffeine, as much as 6 cans of cola. Part 2 of the series features Maine’s Attorney General G. Steven Rowe, the head of the National Association of Attorneys General Youth Access to Alcohol Committee, who plans to use the research done by CBS Miami to launch a federal investigation into Sparks’ caffeine content. The Marin Institute wants CBS to air this series nationally.

State AGs Demand Documents from Brewers on Energy Drinks
Marin: Tell CBS News to Take Sparks Story National
Attorneys General ask for Federal Investigation of Caffeinated Beer Advertising

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