BOSTON (CN) – Massachusetts has ordered Phusion Projects to stop selling, promoting and distributing its caffeine-laced alcohol drinks to minors and college students in the Commonwealth and 19 other states.
Citing binge drinking, underage drinking and other “misuse of alcohol,” the 15-page Assurance of Discontinuance states: “Phusion shall not manufacture, market, sell or distribute any and all CABs [caffeinated alcoholic beverages], including but not limited to the Four CABs, and shall not promote mixing covered FMBs [flavored malt beverages] with products containing caffeine and/or other ingredients that are metabolized as caffeine.”
The Four CABs are Four Loko, MaXed, and Four.
Phusion has been sued six times since 2011 on allegations that its caffeinated drinks caused or contributed to death, according to the Courthouse News database. Three more lawsuits allege injuries from the drinks.
Caffeine in the drink is believed to mask the effects of the alcohol.
The flavored drinks are believed to appeal to children.
Twenty attorneys general cut the deal with Phusion to make it stop marketing the drinks to children.
Phusion denies the allegations that its drinks are dangerous or that it targeted children.
The FTC last year ordered the Chicago-based company to put warnings on its drinks.
The order specifically bars Phusion from promoting its drinks on college campuses, to minors, from using school colors, mascots, fraternities or sororities to push the booze, nor may it use Santa Claus to push it, nor may it use those techniques on Facebook, YouTube or other social media, and it must pay $400,000 to the Signatory Jurisdiction Attorneys.
The signatory jurisdiction attorneys include the Consumer Protection or Consumer Fraud Bureaus of Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, and the City of San Francisco.
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