December 18, 2008
December 18, 2008
-California Prevention Col aborative -California Friday Night Live Partnership Administrators of California -Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, California Sparks Alcoholic Energy Drink
-Day One, Inc., Pasadena -Charles R. Drew University of to be Drained of Stimulants
Urban Public Health, Los Angeles -Dr. Juana Mora, CSU Northridge California Attorney General Brown, San Francisco City Attorney -Environmental Prevention in Communities (EPIC), Berkeley Herrera, and 12 other State Attorneys General reach agreement with Mil erCoors Brewing Company to reformulate Sparks and discontinue -Lutheran Of ice of Public Policy, California SAN RAFAEL, CA (December 18, 2008) -- In a major victory for public -MADD San Diego County -The Marin Institute health and safety, 13 State Attorneys General, the City Attorney of San -National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD), Francisco, and MillerCoors Brewing Company announced today that the company will be reformulating its Sparks Alcoholic Energy Drink to remove -North Inland Community Prevention Program the caffeine and all other stimulants. MillerCoors also agreed to refrain -PIRE Center for the Study of Law and Enforcement Policy from making any AEDs in the future and cease using marketing practices that tout Sparks’ supposed energizing effects, link it to late night partying Council on Alcohol Policy -San Diego County Alcohol Policy Panel and binge drinking, and promote youth experimentation. -San Diego County Youth Council -San Dieguito Al iance for The landmark decision was applauded by the California Coalition on -Santa Clara County -South Bay Coalition, Redondo Beach Alcopops and Youth, which praised California Attorney General Brown, -SPIRITT Family Services, Santa Fe Springs City Attorney Dennis Herrera and the other State Attorneys General for investigating these dangerous products and commended MillerCoors for -United Coalition East, Los Angeles -Val ejo Fighting Back Partnership taking responsible action. It follows a similar agreement reached by State -Youth Leadership Institute ----------------------------------------------------- Attorneys General with Anheuser Busch Company. Judy Walsh-Jackson
Youth Leadership:
The Coalition and other public health and safety groups raised alarms Jim Kooler, Lynne Goodwin
regarding Alcoholic Energy Drinks (AEDs) because of the risks they pose Fred Jones, Katie Lucas
BOE Committee:
to the public, particularly young people. The caffeine in the drinks masks the intoxicating effects of the alcohol without reducing alcohol’s actual effect on judgment and motor skills. Increased binge drinking, drinking and driving, and other risky behavior are likely outcomes of this drug mix. The marketing messages promote these very behaviors. Sparks, the leading AED on the market, is among the worst offenders, using various marketing slogans and images – such as rocket ships and lightning bolts – to promote its supposed energizing effects. Young people are particularly attracted to the product, a sugary mixture appealing to youth taste packaged in cans that are indistinguishable from energy drinks popular with teens. The California Coalition on Alcopops and Youth has had as a top agenda removing AEDs from the marketplace because of the risks they pose to young people and the deceptive marketing practices that have been employed. Judy Walsh-Jackson, chair of the Coalition hailed the decision as a major victory for California’s youth: “We commend both the Attorneys General and MillerCoors Brewing Company for reaching this landmark agreement, which will protect California’s young people from harm and will set a new standard for corporate responsibility. We call on all other alcohol producers and retailers to follow MillerCoors lead and discontinue mixing alcohol with stimulants.” AEDs hit the market after Red Bull energy drink became a popular mixer with vodka in bars as a means to promote binge drinking while counteracting alcohol’s depressant effects. Alcohol producers ignored the alarms raised by public health officials and researchers and instead saw this new practice as an opportunity to enhance their bottom line. Sparks and other AED products are contained in packaging that is indistinguishable The California Youth Council conducted its own investigation of AEDs. Its findings were disturbing. “These drinks are popular among our high school peers. The marketing makes them very attractive, and no one is aware of the risks involved,” said Kellie Goodwin, 17, a member of the group. “Parents, young people, teachers, law enforcement, even liquor store clerks couldn’t tell the difference between non-alcoholic beverages and AED’s,” said Dr. Jim Cooler, administrator of California Friday Night Live Partnership. “These products are so dangerous to teens. We greatly appreciate Attorney General Brown’s leadership in this matter. He and his staff were instrumental in conducting the investigation and negotiating the settlement with MillerCoors. We hope other manufacturers will follow suit for the health and well-being of "Sparks has been the poster child for irresponsible marketing,” said Michele Simon, research and policy director for Marin Institute and co-author with Jim Mosher of the 2007 report, Alcohol, Energy Drinks, and Youth: A Dangerous Mix. “We are pleased that MillerCoors has finally seen the error of its ways, and look forward to the demise of the entire category of caffeinated alcohol."


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