The "Cocaine" liquid product is made from guarana, a natural 'caffeine' berry from South America, and contains 350 per cent more caffeine than Red Bull, which is an energy drink that also made headlines when it was banned in one high school in Worthing, West Sussex last month.
Redux Beverages made headline news last year after they had to revamp the marketing of their new drink called "Cocaine", to remove references claiming that it was an alternative to the real cocaine" and remove the phrase "liquid cocaine".
The U.S. version of the drink also contains wasabi and cinnamon, which numbs the throat to copy the effect of cocaine for drinkers.
After the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the Redux's claims about their new high powered super potent "Cocaine" drink, which said that it was a legal alternative to the street drug as well as calling it "Speed in a can" and their claims that it would reduce cholesterol, the FDA decided that some changes had to be made to Redux's marketing strategy, especially since Redux claimed that this drink was dietary supplement.
Because of that claim, the FDA made it clear to Redux that they could not legally market the new energy drink as a product that mimics the effects of illegal drugs.
Nor could they claim the drink would reduce cholesterol because the ingredients had not been approved by the FDA.
The company then changed their claims on the official website to say that "The purpose of the beverage is to provide essential sugars, amino acids, caffeine and vitamins useful in supplementing and promoting consumer energy levels."
One state in the U.S., Connecticut, actually threatened to file suit against Redux saying it "dangerously glamorizes drug use."
The Las Vegas-based manufacturer will face legal action if it does not immediately stop selling the high-caffeine drink, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.
Blumenthal continued on to say, "Naming this product 'Cocaine' is an insult to anyone seeking to deter and discourage illegal drug use. The effect is to verbally trample or obscure the true, hard lessons about cocaine -- for profit."
Evidently there was also a problem for the company and this controversially named drink in Texas because according to their website, it says, "No Cocaine in Texas!"
If you live in Texas, you will be unable to buy Cocaine Energy Drink. We have resolved our legal issues with the Texas Attorney General and are wrapping up all of the details. We have no details yet as to if and when Cocaine Energy Drink will return to the state of Texas.
In regards to the problems Redux has had with the FDA, they have a page on their website, listed under the tab "compliance", where it says:
Redux has modified all labeling and marketing to address the compliance issues outlined in the warning letter sent to Redux by the FDA in April of 2007. We will continue to work closely and cooperate with the FDA in accordance with FDA mandates to make sure that all Redux products meet FDA guidelines for compliance. Please address all compliance questions and issues to firstname.lastname@example.orgThese statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Not recommended for pregnant women, children, or people sensitive to caffeine.
WARNING: This message is for the people who are too stupid to recognize the obvious. This product does not contain the drug cocaine (duh). This product is not intended to be anything more than an energy drink.
At the bottom of that page, they provide a copy of the letter that the FDA sent to them, along with their drinks label.
Recent News About "Cocaine".
After complying with the FDA's rules and changing their website and their marketing campaign and despite protests and criticisms from a variety of people and groups "Cocaine" according to their newly-formed United Kingdom parent company Ocke Cokey, will be on the shelves within the next few weeks. It is first expected to be launched in Britain.
A map of distributing locations is already provided on the drinkcocaine.com website.
On the can is the word "Cocaine" in what appears to be a grainy white substance, assumed to deliberately appear as the drug cocaine.
The criticisms and protesting comes from a range of sources, from anti-drug charities saying that the marketing of this drug is "cynical and irresponsible" and claiming this is an attempt by Redux to make drugs more appealing to young people, to the UK National Drug Prevention Alliance, with a spokesmen, David Raynes, saying, 'It is people exploiting drugs. It is a pretty cynical tactic exploiting illegal drugs for their own benefit.
The fact is that subliminally it is making the image of drug use cool and that's what kids want to be, cool. Kids will be drinking Cocaine and will inevitably link the two. The drink is relatively innocuous, but they will be linking it with cocaine use and the market, which is far from innocuous."
Despite the hoops this company has had to jump through and the criticisms and legal actions taken against them, they have shown a strong determination to get this drink back on the shelves and they plan on doing so in the next weeks.
Depending on how the sales go for this controversial new energy drink will probably determine whether you soon see "Cocaine" in stores near you.