Letter to the Editor: February 2010

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Editor:

The "Spirited Debate" story in the October/November issue of State Legislatures contained misleading and damaging inaccuracies.

Flavored malt beverages are beer. FMBs do not contain “whiskey or vodka” or any other distilled beverage. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ruled that FMBs are beer. The bureau requires FMBs to derive a majority of their alcohol from fermentation at the brewery. FMBs contain flavors and those flavors can provide some minority of alcohol to an FMB.

 Opponents of the products claim FMBs are marketed to minors and are intended to entice minors to drink distilled spirits. The Federal Trade Commission, after exhaustive research on two separate occasions, concluded FMBs are not marketed to kids.

Gregory W. Altschuh, administrator,
Flavored Malt Beverage Coalition

Letters may be edited for clarity and brevity.