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Sen. Charles Schumer Asks FDA To Block Powdered Alcohol

Palcohol makes a variety of powdered alcohol products. (credit: CBS 2)

Palcohol makes a variety of powdered alcohol products. (credit: CBS 2)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer is asking the Food and Drug Administration to prevent a powdered alcohol from reaching store shelves this fall, saying that it would become “the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking.”

The New York Democrat in a letter says the product Palcohol can be mixed with water, sprinkled on food or even snorted and easily concealed.

“It’s absurd. It’s scary,” Schumer told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Sunday.

Palcohol’s parent company Lipsmark disagrees, saying it would be painful to snort and will be sold under the same restrictions as liquid alcohol.

Schumer said the FDA should intervene because of health risks, like it did with caffeinated, fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages that appealed to young people.

“If they found Four Loko to be unsafe, they are clearly going to find Palcohol because it’s much more dangerous,” Schumer said.

The line, which was dreamed up by Arizona wine expert Mark Phillips, would offer a bar full of products in packet form — including vodka, rum, cosmopolitans and lemon drops cocktails.

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, approved Palcohol’s product labels — the last step after OK’ing both the distillery and formula. The TTB, however, has since admitted the approval was a mistake.

Lipsmark said the problem seems to involve a discrepancy in the fill level of the powder in each bag.

“This doesn’t mean that Palcohol isn’t approved,” the company said on its website. “It just means that these labels aren’t approved. We will re-submit labels. We don’t have an expected approval date as label approval can vary widely.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)