Powdered alcohol considered dangerous -- before it hits shelves

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || May 23, 2014

Entrepreneurs are constantly thinking of new and creative products to market to consumers. In an effort to create a profitable enterprise, however, serious oversights in consumer safety can be made. Other times, the concerns about safety might be known, but they are simply ignored by manufacturers.

Right now, public officials are weighing the possibility of approving a new product: powdered alcohol. The item, which is named Palcohol, comes in a lightweight powder that is mixed with water to create liquor or specialty cocktails. As regulators consider approving the product for sale, some public figures are raising serious product safety concerns.

Not long ago, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent the product from being sold. One of the primary concerns is that the product can be concealed, which could make it attractive to young people who cannot legally consume alcohol. Given the unfamiliar nature of this product, teenagers could inadvertently fall victim to alcohol poisoning or other adverse health effects.

In addition, Schumer raised the possibility that the powdered alcohol could be snorted, which could introduce an unsafe amount of alcohol into a person's system in a very short amount of time.

If any action is taken by the FDA, it would be similar to the one made when Four Loko was removed from the market. That alcoholic beverage was directly aimed at young people, and had detrimental health effects.

Already, the approval process has been held up by concerns about product packaging. Apparently there are questions about how much powder was included in each bag as it compared to labels. Product labeling is critical for consumers. Without accurate or complete warnings, consumers stand to suffer injuries.

Moving forward, the hope is that the safety concerns are heard. Otherwise, consumers -- and young people in particular -- could be put in harm's way by a deceivingly safe product.

Categories: Product Liability
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