After several state attorneys general sent letters to the FDA requesting a ban on the product, the agency cracked down on all caffeine-alcohol combinations and sent out the warning letter mentioned above. It was enough to convince three of them to reformulate their products to exclude caffeine. It wasn’t enough for Rhonda Kallman.
“Moonshot is water, barley, hops and caffeine — less caffeine than a half of a cup of coffee. Without that though what makes it different from the other pilsners on the market? How am I supposed to compete with the 1,600 other breweries in the U.S.?” asks Kallman. “As a citizen I’m confused…as an entrepreneur I’m flabbergasted.”
New Century Brewing company has one full-time employee — Rhonda Kallman — and is lucky if it makes $25,000 a year. Kallman says that even if she does manage to keep Moonshot on the shelves, her product’s reputation will be difficult to repair following the FDA’s unwarranted questioning of its safety.
Nearly 80 years after the 21st Amendment repealed prohibition, we are supposed to be free to make our own decisions about what we choose to drink. It’s about time the FDA got the message.
Michelle Minton is the Director of the Insurance Studies project at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.