Production of FCKD UP stopped following girl's death
Laval-based Groupe Geloso has decided to cease production and recall cans of sugary alcoholic drink FCKD UP, it announced on Sunday.
In an email to various media, co-president Aldo Geloso said he announced the immediate stop to production.
The decision comes after demands for government intervention to better regulate the sale of alcoholic energy drinks after the death of 14-year-old Athena Gervais last week.
Gervais reportedly consumed the drink shortly before her death.
Geloso wrote that the company was working immediately with its retailers and the industry “to remove us completely from this category as quickly as possible.”
He also said the company erred in trying to compete directly with Four Loko, a similar drink that arrived in the Quebec market last year. Both have an alcohol content of 11.9 per cent.
In November, the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux du Québec demanded that the bottler of Four Loko, Cidrerie Solar, “immediately cease the fabrication, sale and all advertising for this product.”
Geloso said his company had doubts about its own product. He said the target market for the product was always adults 18-25.
“The local manufacturer who is preparing to reintroduce Four Loko to the market must, like we did, make the right decision to not go ahead with the production and distribution of this product. Retailers must also send a clear signal to Four Loko and its local manufacturer that their product is not welcome,” Geloso said.
Earlier Sunday, Senator André Pratte demanded the federal health minister intervene in the sale of alcoholic energy drinks.
The results of toxicology analysis on the body of Gervais have not been released, but La Presse reported that she and friends stole cans of FCKD UP from a Provi-Soir near the school over the lunch break on the day she died. Couche-Tard, to whom Provi-Soir is affiliated, announced Friday it was immediately pulling the product from all its stores.
On Saturday, Éduc’alcool also demanded that Health Canada intervene. Health Canada said Saturday that the sale of alcoholic beverages is generally a provincial responsibility, but it was “already working with the Quebec government on this matter.”