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Powdered Alcohol Maker Defends Product

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Lisa Winter

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877 Powdered Alcohol Maker Defends Product
Rex Boggs

A couple weeks ago, IFLScience introduced you to Palcohol: the powder that could be added to water to create a cocktail. Unfortunately, at the time Palcohol was announced by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), its creators weren’t ready to present the product to the public just yet. The information gaps left many to speculate about Palcohol, with many assuming the product was made with with dubious intentions. Some claimed it would be snorted, be used to spike drinks, or would be more easily accessed by children. These concerns, inventor Mark Phillip says, are unfounded.

Each packet of Palcohol contains the equivalent of a shot of liquid alcohol. The volume and alcohol content of Palcohol make it painful to snort, and it would take about an hour to snort a shot’s worth of alcohol, which is horrifically inefficient if the goal is to get drunk from the product. It also takes up to a minute to mix the powder and water, so it is unlikely that anyone could reasonably slip it into someone’s drink unnoticed. Again, it’s a relatively small amount of alcohol and wouldn’t be efficient for that purpose either. As the product is intended to be sold and distributed in the same manner as liquid alcohol, it is only available for those 21 years or older, and the buyer would need to employ the same precautions for keeping it away from children would apply.


Are there people who would try to use this product in a way outside of its intended use, with possible harmful results? Probably so, but the same can be said about liquid alcohol, tobacco, cough medicine, spray paint, and countless other products. If Palcohol is following federal guidelines correctly, should the company really be held to different standards?

Some of the immediate backlash resulted in the TTB rescinding approval for Palcohol’s label, claiming it was approved in error. Phillips is continuing to press forward and gain approval to legally sell and distribute his product. Phillips hopes to set the record straight in this video. Over the course of 17 minutes, he demonstrates the packaging, proper and intended use, debunking of common myths about its use, and the positive uses of Palcohol, which should be considered in making the decision about the product’s approval.

[Hat tip: Paul Adams, Popular Science]

[Header image credited to Rex Boggs, used in accordance with CC BY-ND 2.0]


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