Red Bull Cola banned for containing cocaine

By Alfa · May 24, 2009 · ·
  1. Alfa
    Shops clearing stock.

    View attachment 8705
    German food regulators discovered traces of cocaine in cans of Red Bull Cola and the energy drink has been ordered off the shelves in some states.

    Officials in Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Thuringia and Rhineland-Palatinate have banned the drink after health officials noted trace amounts of cocaine in cans of the cola.

    "The coke is not harmful, but it violates food law," said Thomas Schulz, a spokesman for the Thuringian Ministry of Health.

    The North Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Health and Work (LIGA) found traces of cocaine, from a leaf stem that had supposedly had all the cocaine extracted from it. Therefore, according to the ministry, the cola should not be be classified as a food product, but falls instead under the jurisdiction of the German Narcotics Act.

    "Coca leaf extracts, without the active ingredient of cocaine, are used worldwide for food flavorings and are completely safe," a Red Bull spokesman told the Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper.

    In the German state of Hesse, the Ministry of the Environment in Wiesbaden said on Friday, May 22, that it had confirmed the presence of the coca leaf extract in the drink. It noted that it was part of the recipe and that the product was not contaminated. Therefore they have not issued a warning, but have ordered a recall of the product.

    Officials at Red Bull took a different view of the situation, and said that they had a different interpretation of the legality of coca products being used as flavorings.

    "We are of the opinion that our product is marketable," Frank Farnsteiner, a spokesman for Red Bull, told German public radio.,,4274275,00.html

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  1. Potter

    I pray that the US doesn't follow suit. This is the best cola out there, I'll be so sad if they ban it in the US.

    Man I need one of those sacks. I've got a bunch of empty coffee sacks I use for decoration, it would be so kick ass to have an old coca sack.
  2. Alfa
    Better stock up, if you have the possibility to legally buy it.
  3. Nature Boy
    I'm not too worried. Besides supermarket varieties, Red Bull Cola is the most disgusting type of cola I've ever encountered. Coca-Cola kicks its ass and even Pepsi seems bareable in comparison.
  4. Alfa
    I rather like it.
  5. Sven99
    Excuse my pedantry, but isn't saying 'i like cola' incriminating ones-self for use of the drug caffeine?
  6. Bajeda
    Name one state where caffeinated beverages are illegal.
  7. Woodman
    Alfa, do you think we could have a link to extraction process?

    It would be very helpfu..., errr, umm, I mean "infrmative".
  8. Drats
    AW: Red Bull Cola banned for containing cocaine

    @ Alfa please also post this discussion in German into the German part of this Forum, since this affects Germany and not other states (at the moment)

    I´ve seen it on TV. The producers of the product swear that they made detoxification, similar to coca cola (which also contains coca extracts in some countries).
    But currently the political situation in Germany is not very good, so they need topics which they can use to push up in media to deflect from other things.
    The "outrageous" spice products are gone and the media focused on the bad politics again and now this. I´m curious what will be next after red bull coke is banned. :laugh: posting news from germany is currently not very objective in my opinion.
    They also banned the "dangerous" jwh-018 and cp 47,497, even there is no proof that it´s dangerous in any ways. German politics are based upon prohibition. So this is just a next step towards the darwin award. :applause:

    EDIT: For example, the world championship (soccer) had been in Germany, the most people had been euphoric and the politicians used this to raise the VAT from 16 to 19%. Cause they knew in regular conditions this would lead to a extremly bad reputation, but so it wasn´t that bad.
  9. Alfa
    Re: AW: Red Bull Cola banned for containing cocaine

    As your attorney, I advise you to post it yourself. :) Yer German spelling is much better than mine.

    That's hilarious and sad at the same time. I see the gas German stations have taken red bull cola off the shelves. :(
  10. Drats
    AW: Red Bull Cola banned for containing cocaine

    I just found an additional article from austria. They also think about ban the drink, but didn´t made a decicion so far.
    Also Bernhard Zainer from a food control center is taking a point: He said that the controle techniques are getting harder and harder. He also compared it with this example: If you throw a single sugar cube into the Lake Constance and your later taking a water sample, they can proof that there is sugar in the water. Further he said those analyses are so accurate, that they even detect amounts of possible dangerous substances, which are totally irrelevant.
  11. Sven99
    Did I mention i was worried by my own pedantry? I'm not questioning whether it should be the rules, merely asking whether it is or not.

    But since you ask, the Mormon church prohibits the use of caffeine (and any other recreational drugs) and many European countries in the middle ages prohibited it too.
  12. Nature Boy
    The Mormons forbade African-Americans from joining their "church" until 1978 so I wouldn't exactly pander to their racist standards. Though the banning of a substance in the Middle Ages has no relevance today, I wasn't aware of any European ban on caffeine-containing products in the past. Have you got any more information on that? Sounds interesting.
  13. Bajeda

    The Mormon church has no legal authority - hence why I said state. Caffeine is legal in Utah, where the Church of Latter Day Saints wields the most influence.

    Historical prohibitions aren't of much importance, especially considering how long ago they occurred and how short-lived they tended to be. Coffee was banned at times by the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and even Ethiopia. That these are some of the first places to use coffee and the natural home of coffee respectively is understandable, and explains the early time-line of the bans (the entire world wasn't addicted yet, though Ethiopia's religiously founded ban is later and a bit odd).

    Caffeine as found in beverages (the pure form is controlled in some states, but not illicit) is ubiquitously legal and it is hard to see this changing any time in the near future. Thus, it isn't covered by the self-incrimination prohibitions.

    To NatureBoy: Coffee was just starting to venture outside the Middle East in significant quantities by the end of the Middle Ages (or after it really). Any bans would have to have come in the 17th century, though I don't know of any. That said, my knowledge on the subject is from reading Near-Eastern oriented works on the subject ('Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History' is the best) plus this is getting increasingly off-topic, so I will just shut up now
  14. DopinDan
    Moves like this show how desperate the INCB, and their ilk, are to hang on to their failed policies.
  15. honourableone
    Red Bull Faces Scrutiny After Drug Test

    FRANKFURT -- Energy-drink maker Red Bull GmbH's push into cola sales is facing its first major setback in Germany, where local lawmakers began pulling Red Bull Simply Cola off shelves after a study found the drink contains trace elements of cocaine.

    A study released May 19 by the German state of Northrhine Westfalia discovered minor amounts of cocaine in the cola -- not enough to prove harmful or addictive but qualifying the hypercaffeinated drink as a narcotic under German law.

    Coca flavoring has long been used in some colas. Coca-Cola Co. has said in the past that it uses a "decocainized flavor essence of the coca leaf" to enhance the flavor of Coca-Cola. A company spokesman declined to comment this week, saying the soda formula is a trade secret.

    At least two German states, the densely populated and powerful Hesse and Northrhine Westfalia, have forbidden sales of the drink, a year after it was launched in Germany. Thuringia, in the former East Germany, is conducting studies to determine if active cocaine is present in the cola, which would make it illegal in the state.

    "We have a zero-tolerance" policy toward food products containing narcotics traces, a spokesman for Hesse's environment, energy, agriculture and consumer-protection agency said Wednesday. The state banned sales of the drink on May 19.

    In a statement issued Monday, Red Bull, based near Salzburg, Austria, said "decocainized coca leaf extracts" like those contained in Red Bull Simply Cola are permitted under U.S. and European drug laws. "Use of the extract is regarded in the U.S. and Europe as harmless and nonimpairing."

    Red Bull declined to make an executive available for comment.

    It is unclear whether Germany's 13 other states are considering banning the drink, which Red Bull introduced last spring as an alternative to Coca-Cola or PepsiCo Inc.'s Pepsi-Cola.

    Red Bull, which is sold in nightclubs, gas stations and at some sporting events, has built a youth-focused energy drink brand in recent years by associating itself with adventure sports and nightclub culture. It describes its cola as "strong and natural," on its Web site and containing ingredients including cola nuts and coca leaves -- the base ingredient for making cocaine.

    Germany earlier this year banned the production of genetically modified corn in the country. Red Bull's trademark energy drink is already banned in France and several other European countries.

    "There is no danger" from Red Bull Simply Cola, said Bernhard Kuehnle, head of the food-safety department at the federal ministry for consumer protection. "But that has nothing to do with it being allowed or forbidden."

    The amounts in question are minute, around 0.4 micrograms of cocaine in a can of Red Bull Simply Cola. A microgram is one-millionth of a gram. About 100,000 liters of the cola would need to be consumed to be harmful, according to Bernhard Hoffman, a food scientist for Northrhine-Westfalia who conducted the Red Bull study.

    Red Bull Simply Cola is available in some U.S. markets but is a bit player compared to big cola brands like Coke and Pepsi.

    By William Launder, Wall Street Journal, 28th of May 2009
    Original Source:
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