ALBANY, N.Y. — Senator Chuck Schumer followed up on his vow to keep what he calls the “kool aid” of underage drinking off of store shelves Friday.
The senator appeared at the Albany Boys and Girls Club to speak out against the legalization of powdered alcohol, also known as palcohol.
He says the product can be snorted, added to food and drinks, and is easily concealed.
Palcohol is currently going through a federal label approval process and Schumer said it could be on store shelves this fall. He wants to stop it from going on shelves, calling on the FDA to investigate and prohibit it from being sold.
Schumer said it is a dangerous product that will easily find its way into the hands of teens. And Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Justin Reuter says there is a whole other level of consumption here that nobody knows anything about.
He spends his days creating a safe place for the children of Albany at the club, and now he worries powdered alcohol or ‘palchol’ could be the latest threat to his kids.
“It’s going to hit the market, problems are going to occur, there’s going to be overdoses all over the place. I mean it’s scary,” he said.
Opponents of the product say it will lead to snorting, abuse, and is likely land in the hands of children.
But the makers of the product are fighting back in a video demonstration on YouTube.
“The last straw was Senator Schumer’s recent request to the FDA to ban Palcohol,” said Mark Philips, founder of palcohol.
In the video he denounces all allegations that his product is dangerous.
“All of those statements couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.
But substance abuse experts like Laura Combs, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator for Capital Region BOCES, still have their doubts.
“We don’t know the impact,” she said.
And she says the problem will occur when packages combining one shot of powdered alcohol are combined.
“Kids mixing a couple of the bags together along with alcohol, are you going to get a binge drinking situation?”
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau did briefly give approval to palcohol labels, only to take it back due to what it calls technical issues with the amount of powder in each package.
Schumer stresses the passage of the product is imminent, but says he will continue to call on the FDA to stop the product in its tracks before it reaches the hands of New York children.