The Presidents' Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry, a US trade body, has voiced its opposition to the sale of powdered alcohol, claiming there is “potential for abuse”. 

The group, which represents 28 major spirits firms, said in a statement this week it is “very concerned” about the potential problems if the sale of powdered alcohol gets the green light from US authorities. “The possibility that this product could be snorted or abused in other ways gives our members very grave concerns,” the body said. 

“We think the inherent and obvious potential for abuse of powdered alcohol far outweighs any legitimate use claimed.”

Powdered alcohol has proved controversial since it emerged last April that the company Lipsmark was planning to launch a product called Palcohol in the US. Legislators in a number of states - including New York - have since launched efforts to ban powdered alcohol.

However, in a response to just-drinks, Palcohol's creator, Mark Phillips, said he was “disappointed” the spirits trade body has taken what he called an “irresponsible” position.

“If anyone should know that prohibition doesn't work, it's a spirits organisation,” he said. “Banning powdered alcohol will make it easier for underage drinkers to get a hold of it by creating a black market, just as banning alcohol did in prohibition.” 

Phillips added: “The fact that they stated their concern that powdered alcohol will be snorted and abused in other ways shows their ignorance about the product. Unfortunately, they are being caught up with the misinformation and hysteria out there, just like many legislators.”

The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) initially approved the sale of Palcohol last year, it was reported, but later said the approval was given in error.

Privately-owned Lipsmark said previously it planned to release six versions of Palcohol - including vodka, rum and four cocktails - to be sold in a pouch that is the equivalent to 10% to 12% abv. Five ounces of water are meant to be added to the cocktail version to create the drink.