Last ear I wrote about a powdered alcohol product, brand name Palcohol, that had been approved by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for sale in the United States. At the time, the experts were mixed in their opinions. Now, state governments are moving to ban powdered alcohol before it even hits the shelves.
According to Food Safety News, last spring, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, an arm of the U.S. Treasury Department, approved Palcohol and then rescinded its approval over labeling issues. While that issue is being worked out, state lawmakers are trying to get ahead of the issue by introducing powdered alcohol bans in Colorado, Nebraska, Utah and Wisconsin.
The actual number of states that may consider banning the product won’t be known until the deadlines for new bills are reached, but the early trend is clear.
State lawmakers, however, are concerned about how the powdered alcohol product might be “snorted” or “sneaked into” venues closed to alcohol, possibly to the underaged. Members of both the Democrat and Republican parties are introducing bills to ban powdered alcohol, mostly on the argument that the new product will increase underage drinking.
The makers of Palcohol see the mix-with-water instant cocktails as a “niche” product for adults who hike, bike, camp, kayak or climb rocks, and who would like to be able to pull a cocktail out of their kit bag at the end of the day but have not been able to do so because of the weight that is usually involved. They argue that snorting powdered alcohol will not be a problem for two reasons: 1.) It hurts and burns to snort it, and 2.) It’s a slow method of inebriation as it would take a hour or more to snort one packet. As for sneaking them into a closed venue, the Palcohol packages are larger than mini bottles used by airlines, which are also readily available at most liquor stores.
If you were wondering where the makers of Palcohol got the idea, Germany and the Netherlands have had thriving powdered alcohol brands for years.
Image Credit: Booze photo via Shutterstock