Alcohol Justice, a California-based non-profit advocacy, research and policy organisation, has ordered Diageo to stop the sales of flavoured malt beverage (FMB) brand, Red Stripe, in the US, after Diageo representative, Erin Mitchell, admitted that the company tests alcopop beverages on 18-24yo young women and men in Jamaica before marketing them in the US.

Red Stripe is a Jamaica-based brewer that is owned by Diageo, and also markets Smirnoff Ice brand of alcopops.

Red Stripe Beer brand manager stated that a new raspberry FMB product called ‘Burst’ has been designed as a ‘recruitment-driven’ product primarily for female 18-24yo.

Shocked by the Diageo representative statement, Alcohol Justice CEO and executive director Bruce Lee Livingston said it is clear now that Diageo tests alcopop beverages on 18-24yo cohorts of young women and men in other countries before marketing them in places like the US where the drinking age is appropriately higher.

"Alcopops or FMBs were designed as ‘cocktails on training wheels,’ sweet and fruity, to lure underage youth into unhealthy drinking behaviors, especially underage girls," Livingston added.

"Now we have written proof that Diageo is leading the charge in a race to the bottom of the alcopop barrel to endanger youth."

Alcohol is reportedly third leading cause of preventable deaths in the US, with estimated 79,000 deaths annually, among which around 5,000 are aged less than 21yr, the minimum legal drinking age in the US.

Alcohol Justice public affairs director Michael Scippa said, "Now that we have in a producer’s own words, that they are targeting people under the age of 21 with alcopops, we are renewing our call for change to reduce the threat to youth."

Livingston said they must insist that Diageo promise not to market any Red Stripe alcopop products in the US.

"Furthermore, we ask them to start limiting their production and distribution of Smirnoff Ice products which come in many sweet and fruity youth-oriented flavors," Livingston added.

"It may be time for the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to look at the marketing and product development of Diageo brands."