An article in today’s New York Times includes a remark by Jaisen Freeman, a founder and the managing partner of Phusion Projects, which manufactures Four Loko, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage that has been banned (so far) in three states because of its demonstrated high potential for alcohol overdose and poisoning.

He stated, “We still believe that combining caffeine and alcohol is safe – if that weren’t the case, Irish coffees and rum and colas would be under scrutiny as well.”

The fact is — and we can assume that Mr. Freeman knows this as well as anyone — a 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko at 12% alcohol contains five times as much alcohol (2.82 ounces) as the average rum and coke or Irish coffee. (The 6% version contains only two-and-a-half time as much.) And, while even a heavy drinker might take two or more hours to consume five drinks, the sweetened “alcopop” Four Loco is frequently chugged, and nearly always finished in far less time than that.

So, is Mr. Freeman simply ignorant about the stuff he produces, or is he — ah — bending the “facts” to his own purposes?  You be the judge.

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