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Powdered alcohol snagged

| Monday, April 21, 2014, 9:42 p.m.

NEW YORK — Don't expect powdered alcohol to hit store shelves anytime soon.

A product called “Palcohol” gained widespread attention online in recent days when it was reported that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the powdered alcohol, including vodka and rum varieties. A representative for the federal bureau, Tom Hogue, said in an email late Monday that the approvals were issued in error.

In an email message, Palcohol's parent company, Lipsmark, said “there seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag.” It said it will resubmit the labels for approval.

According to the website for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, multiple varieties of Palcohol received “label approval” on April 8. Palcohol said in an email that it agreed to surrender the approvals “a few hours ago.”

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is a part of the Treasury Department.

Earlier in the day, Palcohol said in an email that founder Mark Phillips was traveling and unavailable for an interview. It said it wasn't releasing any information on distribution or pricing, and the company's website doesn't provide details on how it makes powdered alcohol.

Robert Lehrman, who runs a beverage law website that initially reported on the product, noted that Palcohol had to have gone through an extensive process before reaching the label approval stage.

“An oversight of this nature does not ring true to me,” Lehrman said.

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