The AP is reporting that a controversial new product, powdered alcohol, called Palcohol by the manufacturer, has been approved by the FDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Tom Hogue, of the Bureau said, the Bureau works with the FDA to find out if a product is “adulterated,” then, if the FDA gives the product the go ahead, the Bureau evaluates the product on whether its labels accurately reflect what’s in it. “Potential for abuse isn’t grounds for us to deny a label,” Hogue said.
But many people are concerned. Several states have already moved to ban powdered alcohol when it’s approved.
Last month, Colorado moved to prevent the sale of the product.
Concerns are many:
- Palcohol’s powdered form might be easier to abuse, for example, by snorting.
- Palcohol’s light weight could make it easier to sneak alcohol into public events.
- Palcohol’s flavors may be appealing to small children.
- Palcohol’s newness could be risky for people who won’t be familiar with its potency.
- Palcohol’s form could exacerbate the underage drinking problem.
According to the manufacturer, the product will have convenience applications, such as being easier to carry into outdoor activities and more efficient to transport, but others, such as RehabCenterRankings, a site that reports the burden alcohol places on society, questions the wisdom of providing yet another delivery system.
“While the risks are high, the benefits are low and the health threats are real.”
RehabCenterRankings reports some sobering statistics, citing the latest data from 2012:
- 88,000 men and women die from alcohol-related causes annually.
- In 2012, nearly 10,322 deaths, 31% of driving fatalities, resulted from alcohol impairment.
- Alcohol misuse annually costs the United States an estimated $223 billion.
- Alcohol contributes to or causes more than 200 diseases and serious health conditions.
- Alcohol abuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability, and the first among 15-49 year-olds.
What do you think? Will you try it?
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