In March, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the powdered alcohol substance Palcohol for sale in stores this summer. Two days later, however, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced his plans to see that the product is banned.
The new product is a powder that, when mixed with six ounces of water, makes a drink that is about as strong as one shot of alcohol. The strength is easily increased, however, depending on how much water the user actually adds.
Why Legislators Think Palcohol Is Dangerous
This isn’t the first time the decision to approve Palcohol has been contested. In fact, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol in 2014, but quickly reversed its decision.
Senator Schumer believes that the product is inherently dangerous and is introducing legislation to make the product, which is available in rum, vodka, margarita, cosmopolitan, and lemon drop flavors, illegal. In a statement, the Senator said, "I am in total disbelief that our federal government has approved such an obviously dangerous product, and so, Congress must take matters into its own hands and make powdered alcohol illegal. Underage alcohol abuse is a growing epidemic with tragic consequences and powdered alcohol could exacerbate this."
Five states—Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont—have already banned the sale of the product within their borders and Minnesota, Ohio, New York, and Colorado are also considering bans. If Schumer’s proposed legislation does not pass, Virginia drivers could face a new threat this summer.
Palcohol has a few other potentially dangerous issues. For instance, multiple packets of the substance can be used in the same beverage, resulting in a dangerously strong cocktail that could have damaging and even deadly effects. Additionally, more drivers may be able to drink while behind the wheel because of the product’s convenience.