A-B backs off alcoholic energy drinks

Anheuser-Busch, under pressure from various governmental units, says it will stop selling alcoholic energy drinks.

Several state attorneys general as well as the Center for Science in the Public Interest have threatened to sue A-B and Miller Brewing Co., contending that their alcoholic energy drinks are marketed to underage drinkers and also pose health risks.

A-B, while rebutting the allegations, nevertheless notified CSPI that it would agree to stop marketing alcoholic drinks with energy supplements such as caffeine. It said in a statement that it is reformulating Tilt and Bud Extra.

Initially, A-B had responded to the charges by noting that it unfairly targeted brewers even though distilled spirits makers have long marketed caffeinated cocktails such as Red Bull and vodka.

"Although Bud Extra and Tilt met all regulatory requirements, had much less caffeine than a Starbuck's coffee, and had received all necessary federal and state agency approvals, we are reformulating these products (without the caffeine, guarana and similar supplements) in response to the AGs' concerns," A-B said in a statement.

New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo said the attorneys general were "conducting ongoing investigations into other producers of alcoholic energy drinks."

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