August 14, 2018 | ° F

‘Palcohol’ shakes up drinking culture

Editorial | Powdered alcohol product offers too much potential for abuse

Mark Phillips decided that there aren’t enough options already for people to get wasted, and so he decided to introduce a new product to the market: powdered alcohol. His company, Palcohol, actually received federal approval for the product earlier this month, but because of labeling issues, the approval was reversed for now. Palcohol plans to resubmit the product for approval once it fixes the labels and aims to have it on the shelves for sale by fall.

Frankly, powdered alcohol is one of the worst ideas we have heard in a while, and we’re really confused as to how it ever got approved in the first place. Apparently, the idea isn’t new, but this is the first time it managed to get approval for sale in the United States.

If Palcohol’s official website is any indication, the creators do not appear professional, responsible or interested in taking serious measures to make sure this product isn’t abused. The company’s website originally read, “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room … snorting Palcohol. Yes, you can snort it. And you’ll get drunk almost instantly because the alcohol will be absorbed so quickly in your nose. Good idea? No. It will mess you up. Use Palcohol responsibly.” What kind of twisted logic were they using to encourage responsibility? They offered a whole host of questionable suggestions on how to use Palcohol on their website before they realized how irresponsible that was and changed it. Even so, the website was only taken down and replaced once the company realized what a disaster it was for its image.

The product itself is very much geared toward young people — young people who are all about experimenting. Powdered alcohol provides some of the craziest opportunities to try new ways to get drunk.

Even now, the Palcohol website suggests some of the most absurd uses for the powdered alcohol. Athletes can conveniently take a packet and mix it in with a bottle of water for a quick drink. Anyone can try sprinkling it on cooked food, and one packet is small enough to fit in your pocket to take on the go (originally suggested for sneaking into sports events and concerts). We’re wary of powdered alcohol as a product in general, but this company’s irresponsible approach to marketing concerns us even more. They’re practically daring people to use it in all the wrong ways.

But most of all, we’re very suspicious of how this ever got approved in the first place — and why that decision was reversed so quickly. According to the developers, they just need to clarify some of the labeling and then resubmit it for approval, and they still plan to have the product on the shelves by this upcoming fall. But it’s more likely that the FDA hopefully realized what a bad idea the product is and will conduct some more research into the repercussions of approving it.

Sure, this is a great idea from a business standpoint. It’s a new way for people to get creative about drinking, so the product would probably be a huge hit if it is finally approved for sale. But the fact is that our society really isn’t responsible enough for this kind of product. According to the website, Palcohol will be available wherever liquor is sold. We don’t know what to expect from the FDA in terms of its approval, but we would hope there are at least some kind of restrictions placed on the powder instead of it just being sold the same way as alcohol. It offers many more opportunities for abuse than liquid alcohol, so extra conditions need to be placed on it to keep it in check.

By The Daily Targum

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