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Attorneys general call for Four Loko alcohol crackdown

Thursday - 12/29/2011, 4:37am  ET

Four Loko (AP)
Attorneys general nationwide say they are concerned about excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking. They say Four Loko is marketed as though it is a single serving, although it contains 4.7 servings of alcohol. (AP)

WASHINGTON -- A fruity, alcoholic drink that caused a stir earlier this year for its high alcohol content and marketing campaign is coming under fire again.

The drink, Four Loko, originally contained both caffeine and an alcohol content equivalent to four or five beers. The Federal Trade Commission ordered the manufacturer to take out the caffeine and to put a disclosure label on the can regarding its alcohol content.

But now, attorney generals from 34 states -- including Maryland -- say the changes didn't go far enough.

"We wanted them to reduce the whole amount of alcohol in each one of these cans from the equivalent of five beers to the equivalent of two beers," says Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.

Gansler also says the drink is still being marketed toward young people, and he'd like to see that changed.

"The products are being marketed at children. They've got the cartoon kind of cans and they're marketing at kids, and that's who is consuming them, so it makes them even that much more dangerous."

The beverages are said to have contributed to alcohol poisonings and sexual assaults nationwide and to a woman's death in Maryland.

Gansler says he would like the FTC to investigate all similar highly alcoholic drinks.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank Silverberg and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)