EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

CSPI sues MillerCoors over its alcoholic energy drink

9 September 2008

CSPI sues MillerCoors over its alcoholic energy drink This morning, our friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed suit against MillerCoors Brewing Company over its alcoholic energy drink, Sparks. This bold action is an important new step in the effort to protect America's youth from these dangerous and deceptive products.

Sparks products are 6% to 7% alcohol -- higher than most beer. In October MillerCoors plans to release Sparks Red, a product with a whopping 8% alcohol. But unlike beer, Sparks is formulated to appeal to young people with a sweet, citrus taste that hides the alcohol flavor, and is laced with caffeine and other stimulants that mask the feelings (but not the impairment) of intoxication -- encouraging people to keep drinking past their normal limits.

Even worse, MillerCoors markets Sparks with predatory tactics that appeal to youth, including a juvenile web site that includes a drink recipe called a "lunchbox" and suggests having Sparks for breakfast.

Unlike its competitor Anheuser-Busch, which in June agreed to stop producing and marketing pre-packaged caffeinated alcohol beverages, MillerCoors has ignored calls from CSPI, other national health advocacy groups, and thousands of Americans to pull Sparks off the market.

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