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Wine News

Powdered alcohol approved in the US but Australia wants to ban it

The Victorian Government in Australia said it will move to ban 'Palcohol' after the manufacturer has reportedly shown interest in bringing the product to the Australian market.

Palcohol has been approved in the United States and will go on sale this summer. One standard drink is made by adding a packet of the powder to three-quarters of a cup of water and the maker has flagged food applications such as adult ice-cream as a potential use for the product. Palcohol comes in two spirit versions - Vodka and Rum - and three cocktail versions.

But the Minister for Liquor Regulation in Victoria, Jane Garrett, said she will be writing to her interstate and federal counterparts about stopping the powder from flooding the Australian market, claiming the product is dangerous. She says it will be easy to get into venues, difficult to regulate the amount that's used and there are concerns even that people might snort it.

But the makers of the product say banning Palcohol would be irresponsible as the government will spend precious financial resources trying to enforce the ban and it probably won’t work. They believe a ban would heighten demand and create a black market. The product is designed to suit activities which don’t lend themselves to lugging heavy bottles of alcohol, such as hiking, biking, vamping and kayaking.

The Victorian president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Tony Bartone, said he supported moves to ban the powder. He said it lends itself to an unwanted possibility of abuse and excess that sends the wrong message of excess in a culture that is seeking to promote alcohol in moderation.