Powdered alcohol gets federal agency's approval
NEW YORK (AP) — A powdered alcohol intended to be mixed up into drinks has gained approval from a federal agency.
The product, called Palcohol, had received the greenlight from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau briefly last year before the bureau backtracked and said the label approvals had been given in error.
On Wednesday, bureau spokesman Tom Hogue told The Associated Press the issues were resolved and that four varieties of Palcohol were approved. But Hogue noted that states can also regulate alcohol sales in their borders.
The approval is a step forward for a small company whose product plans have already sparked controversy.
Several states have already moved to ban powdered alcohol, including lawmakers in Colorado who last month advanced legislation to temporarily halt its sale. Concerns have included abuse by minors and whether Palcohol's light weight would make it easy to sneak alcohol into public events.
Palcohol would come in a pouch, with water being added to the powder inside for the equivalent of an alcoholic drink.
A statement on the Palcohol website says the company hopes to have the product for sale this summer. Palcohol founder Mark Phillips noted the approval of his product in an email early Wednesday morning, but wasn't immediately available for further comment.
Hogue said the bureau's evaluation is centered on whether labels accurately reflect what's in the product.
"Potential for abuse isn't grounds for us to deny a label," he said.
Previously, Phillips had said he came up with the idea for Palcohol because he wanted a way to enjoy alcoholic drinks after hiking or other activities without having to lug around heavy bottles.