MILWAUKEE – MillerCoors LLC said Thursday it will remove caffeine and three other ingredients from its Sparks alcoholic energy drink in a deal with 13 states and the city of San Francisco.
A coalition of state attorneys general had complained the stimulants reduced drinkers' sense of intoxication and were marketed to young drinkers, who were already more likely to have risky behaviors in driving and other activities.
"They are fundamentally dangerous and put drinkers of all ages at risk," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "Today's agreement will ensure that from here on out, these drinks are kept off New York shelves and away from New York consumers."
Cuomo had spearheaded the investigation into caffeinated alcohol beverages. The MillerCoors settlement also includes the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma and the city attorney of San Francisco.
Milwaukee-based MillerCoors agreed to remove caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng from Sparks and not produce caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future. The company also will pay $550,000 to cover the cost of the investigation into Sparks.
The money will be split between the states and San Francisco, MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green said.
St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch said in June it would reformulate its Tilt and Bud Extra drinks to remove the stimulants as part of a settlement with 11 attorneys general.