States Trying to Ban Powdered Alcohol Before it Gets Going

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A powdered drink mix that, when hydrated, turns into an alcoholic cocktail has legislators across the country talking about banning it before you have a chance to try it.

Concerns about the powdered alcohol mixes, which would be sold under the brand name Palcohol, have states scrambling to ban the powder packets prior to it coming to market Food Safety News reported Tuesday.

The company that manufactures the powdered mixes said it hopes to have it available for sale by spring. Plans call for four flavors -- margarita, cosmopolitan, lemon drop and mojito -- and a choice of vodka or rum.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-Banning powdered alcohol is the most irresponsible action a legislature can take.%When the packets are hydrated with either water or a mixer they would then be turned into a cocktail, according to the manufacturer. Food Safety News reported that the federal government approved the powdered cocktail mixes last year before withdrew the approval over concerns about the labeling.

With the company working to address the issues, at least nine states are reportedly trying to block the product including Wisconsin, Colorado, Nebraska and Utah.

And the company isn't happy.

"People say that banning powdered alcohol is the responsible thing to do," Palcohol manufacturer Lipsmark said in a statement on its website. "It's just the opposite. Banning powdered alcohol is the most irresponsible action a legislature can take. By banning a product that's in demand, it creates a black market which means the state loses all control over it. Then underage people can get a hold of it much easier. We know from experience that Prohibition doesn't work."

The company cites as a potential market, those who go hiking or camping and don't want to carry with them heavy bottles of alcohol.

Food Safety News quoted one legislator as saying the risks aren't worth allowing the powdered drink mixes.

"The potential for abuse outweighs quite heavily the need for that type of product," Wisconsin state Sen. Tim Carpenter said. "It would just make life a lot less complicated if we just didn't go there."

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