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MillerCoors postpones energy drink

September 20, 2008|From the Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — MillerCoors is putting on hold its plans for a new caffeine-infused alcoholic energy drink pending a talk with the group of states that asked it this week to abandon the launch of Sparks Red.

MillerCoors said in a statement Friday that it wouldn't go ahead with the launch of the drink, which had been scheduled for Oct. 1.

On Wednesday, attorneys general from 25 states asked the company, a joint venture between SABMiller's U.S. unit and Molson Coors Brewing Co., to abandon its plans, citing possible health risks to young drinkers.

The group, including New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, said the combination of alcohol and caffeine reduces drinkers' sense of intoxication. A letter to MillerCoors Chief Executive Leo Kiely hinted at a potential lawsuit if the product wasn't pulled.

In a statement Friday, Cuomo said he was glad the drink was being held.

Attorneys general and trade groups have criticized such alcoholic energy drinks, saying young drinkers are especially vulnerable because of their limited judgment and risky behaviors in driving and other activities.

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