Freeze-dried alcohol in powdered form or “Palcohol,” may be hitting store shelves soon. According to Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., regulatory approval of the product is close at hand. He claims a "technical" issue related to how it is packaged and taxed is the only thing standing in the way.
Senator Schumer and other New York lawmakers are not happy about this. They want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the product’s sale and have introduced a bill designed to do just that. It would make the sale of Palcohol a civil violation punishable by a $5,000 fine as a first offense, and a misdemeanor crime punishable by a $10,000 fine on a subsequent offense.
Senator Schumer has called Palcohol a “mind-boggling product” whose sale would ignite a “powder keg” due to the purported ease with which it could be smuggled into schools, sporting events, restaurants, and other venues. It can be added to any beverage to make an instant cocktail, added to food, or even snorted for the same effect as getting drunk. His letter to FDA Commissioner Hamburg summarizes the arguments against the product.
A website dedicated to the product and seeking investors disputes these claims. Arizona-based Lipsmark, LLC, which manufacturers the product, claims Palcohol has industrial and manufacturing applications as well as being "a boon to outdoors enthusiasts such as campers, hikers and others who wanted to enjoy adult beverages responsibly without having the undue burden of carrying heavy bottles of liquid." The company also argues "powdered alcohol doesn't make irresponsible or illegal use any easier than liquid alcohol."