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Makers of Four Loko ordered to label malt beverage with 'alcohol facts'

Four Loko will now begin labeling their containers with
Four Loko will now begin labeling their containers with "Alcohol Facts" under order from the Federal Trade Commission.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Four Loko drinkers will now know exactly how much malt liquor they're consuming, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered the makers of the beverage to begin labeling containers with "Alcohol Facts."

These facts will include the container size, percentage alcohol by volume, number of servings in the container and serving size in fluid ounces.

This decision comes after Phusion Projects, LLC, -- the makers of the controverisal Four Loko -- was accused of falsely claiming that a 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko contains the same amount of alochol as one or two beers, and that an individual could safely consume one in a single sitting.

In reality, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, one 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko is really more like four to five beers, so part of the FTC order is that Phusion must redesign cans containing more than 2.5 servings of alcohol so that the drink can be resealed -- and, doesn't have to be consumed in one sitting.

Phusion said although they don't agree with allegations that their Four Loko marketing efforts made it seem like a less alcoholic product than it is, they are ready to move forward.

NPR reports that Jaisen Freeman, a co-founder of Phusion Projects, said in a statement: "We share a common interest with the FTC in providing consumers with information and packaging options to help them make informed, responsible decisions."

This isn't the first time Four Loko's been critiscized for its potency; the carbonated malt beverage used to also have caffeine in it.

A college kid favorite, multiple students ended up in the hospital in 2010 after guzzling the alcoholic beverage, resulting in harsh criticism of the drink and states banning Four Loko altogether. Ultimately, Phusion reacted to this controversy by removing the caffeine from the beverage altogether.

When this latest order from the FTC-- which addresses proper can labeling -- entered its public comment period in 2011, many commenters suggested banning Four Loko outright or limiting the amount of alcohol. The FTC said they do not have the authority to do this.

Instead, Phusion will now be required to put an Alcohol Facts panel on containers of Four Loko or any other flavored malt beverage containing more than two servings of alcohol.