What Is Powdered Alcohol?

On April 21st, the federal government reversed it’s 13 day old decision to give Palcohol “label approval.”¬† CBS was quick to release a story about the potential health risks from powdered alcohol. To summarize, CBS stated that (1) it was marketed (with a wink) to minors; (2) people would likely try to snort it; (3) people would likely ingest too much of it; (4) people would bring it to places where alcohol was banned (college sporting events, school dances, etc…) and (5) that it could lead to more accidents, including drunk driving.

TIME released an article on the same day that didn’t add much to the story. What is significant is that multiple media outlets reported this story and did a good job explaining the public health risks.

The Palcohol website doesn’t provide much quality information, but does describe the owner’s background in detail and offers their stream-of-consciousness marketing ideas.

By far, the best article I came across was this one by CNN. It discusses how General Foods tried to push powdered alcohol in the 1970’s and how it was blocked by the states.

The good news is that we are unlikely to see this hit the market any time soon. If it were to somehow get full federal approval, I expect that we would see a couple of disasters on college campuses that would lead to a series of state level bans (think Four Loko and the 2010 bans Рincidentally, the company that makes Four Loko just announced that it will stop making Four Loko altogether).