Bold Board: Pa. Asks Distributors to Pull Alcoholic Energy Drinks.

Citing numerous cases of alcohol poisoning in states across the country, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has formally asked the state’s 17,000 licensed beer distributors to stop selling high-alcohol energy drinks that are popular among college students.

CBS 21 News in Harrisburg reported Nov. 2 that the state agency sent a letter Oct. 27 to distributors, citing the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) ongoing investigation into the safety of potent alcoholic energy beverages with brand names such as Four Loko and Joose.

"While the state and federal investigations continue, we hope you will work with us to protect all Pennsylvanians from the potential dangers that these types of products may present and withhold selling alcoholic energy drinks until they are considered safe under FDA regulations," the board's letter states.

Products such as Four Loko, sold in a 23.5-ounce can for as little as $2.50, contain the equivalent amount of alcohol to about five or six beers, say Pennsylvania regulators. In Lancaster County, hospital emergency personnel during one recent weekend treated eight people for alcohol poisoning associated with energy drink consumption.

The news report said the action by the state board with regard to distribution may be unprecedented. One central Pennsylvania beer distributor told the station that while his company would honor the state's request, he did not believe state officials should interfere with sales of a legal product.