Monday, 25 May, 2009 Health & Fitness

Traces of Cocaine Found in Red Bull Cola, Drink Could be Banned in Germany


Red Bull Cola could be banned in Germany after researchers discovered that the energy drink contains cocaine. German authorities in the states of Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia ordered retailers to halt the sales after traces of the illegal drug in the high-energy drink.

The traces of cocaine were found by specialists working at a food safety institute in North-Rhine Westphalia. They carried out a complex chemical process to find cocaine in Red Bull Cola, said Bernhard Kuehnle, who heads the food safety department at the federal ministry for consumer protection.

Although a nationwide ban is expected to be applied on Red Bull Cola, authorities outlined that the level of cocaine found in the drink is not hazardous for health. Still the drug is not allowed to be used in foodstuffs, reports Daily Mail.

During the research, scientists found that Red Bull Cola includes a de-cocainized extract of coca leaf, which means that it should be classified as a narcotic and not as a foodstuff. Besides, according to the authorities, such drink should require a special license.

Some retail groups, like Giant German, had already taken action and issued orders to stop selling the high-energy drink and remove it from the shops.

However, Red Bull Cola posed against the ban. According to the company's spokesman, de-cocainized extract of coca leaf is widely used by different countries in foods, serving as a natural flavoring. In addition, Red Bull Cola said that its drink along with a number of other foods that feature coca leaf extract is judged as safe in the European Union and in the United States.

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