The throbbing hard-on that federal regulators have for Four Loko appears to have lost none of its rigidity since last year when they F'ed its caffeine out.
Also: Containers. No more regular pop-top aluminum cans for this fruity gutter swill. Barring a last-minute change in policy, Four Loko will have to be sold only in resealable containers.
The FTC alleges that Phusion Projects, LLC and its principals falsely claimed that a 23.5-ounce, 11 or 12 percent alcohol by volume can of Four Loko contains alcohol equivalent to one or two regular 12-ounce beers, and that a consumer could drink one can safely in its entirety on a single occasion.
In fact, according to the FTC, one can of Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four to five 12-ounce cans of regular beer and is not safe to drink on a single occasion. Consuming a single can of Four Loko on a single occasion constitutes "binge drinking," which is defined by health officials as men drinking five (and women drinking four) or more standard alcoholic drinks in about two hours.
Seattle Weekly had its own trying experience in attempting to nail down exactly how much alcohol is in a can of Four Loko.
Back when a gaggle of WSU students were hospitalized after drinking Lok and the the wheels were set in motion for product's eventual downgrade to non-caffeinated, we had an interesting conversations with Phusion's PR firm, Edelman.
Managing editor Caleb Hannan pointed out that Four Loko "has the alcoholic equivalent of five or six caffeinated beers" and we soon got this response.
This statement is not correct...Please remove this error from the online version of your story and please use the correct information from the materials we provided.
A long email conversation then ensued where the PR flaks tried to quibble over which beers we were comparing the drink to ("A Bud or a craft /Euro beer?"), only to later insist that wine is the best measure--"Two glasses" in fact.
Simple math (a 23oz can of 12% alcohol-by-volume drink) makes the "two glasses of wine" equivalent bullshit.
And upon having this pointed out, Loko's mouthpiece suddenly found itself tongue tied.
At any rate, it would seem that the folks at the FTC can do math as well. And being the helpful souls that they are, they're going to help the people at Phusion practice their math on every can--I mean resealable bottle.