Friday, July 18, 2014

People will abuse powdered alcohol, Ohio lawmakers say

My latest at Ohio Watchdog...

By Maggie Thurber | for Ohio Watchdog

PALCOHOL: In a YouTube video,
Palcohol inventor Mark Phillips
 shows how the product works
and addresses what he calls
the “completely false” claims
about his product.
We have powdered coffees, powdered juices, powdered soups, powdered eggs, powdered milk.

Why not powdered alcohol? After all, it’s light, portable and convenient.

But we’ll abuse it, two Ohio lawmakers say.

Reps. Ron Gerberry, D-Austintown, and Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, introduced House Bill 594 to prohibit the sale of powdered or crystalline alcohol in Ohio.

Alaska and South Carolina have already banned the substance while New York, Vermont and Minnesota have pending legislation to do the same.

“The potential for abuse of this product far outweighs any value it may have in the marketplace,” Gerberry said in a news release.

“The public health risk of powdered alcohol is too great for our state to ignore,” Buchy said in the same release. “We have to do our part in putting forth reasonable laws that protect our children and prevent the availability of drug forms that have a higher potential for abuse.”

Their concerns mirror those of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban it.

In April, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates taxing and labeling of alcohol products, approved seven flavors of Palcohol. They then temporarily rescinded those approvals due to a technical issue with the package fill levels. Palcohol made some changes and resubmitted the labels for approval.

According to Schumer, the FDA supersedes the TTB approval in the presence of significant health concerns.

He said “experts” should “step in before this mind-boggling product, surely to become the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking, sees the light of day” and “stop this potentially deadly product in its tracks” to avoid the “hospitalizations and death that are likely to follow.”

Nonsense, says its inventor.

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