Traces of Cocaine Found in Red Bull Cola


Red Bull Cola has been banned in six German states for containing traces of cocaine. From the Daily Mail:

The consumer ministries in the two states confirmed they had ordered retailers to pull the drink off their shelves after a food safety institute in North-Rhine Westphalia found the drug in samples. The investigation found the drink to contain a de-cocainized extract of coca leaf in the drink.

Giant German retail group Rewe had already issued orders to remove the fizzy drink from its shops. Wilhelm Deitermann, spokesman for the North-Rhine Westphalia consumer ministry said he expected most – if not all – other German states to follow suit and ban the drink.

Red Bull Cola has protested the action. ‘De-cocainized extract of coca leaf is used worldwide in foods as a natural flavouring,’ said a spokesman.

The company added that Red Bull Cola as well as other food that contains coca leaf extract is considered safe in the EU as well as in the US.

Officials from one state found traces of cocaine in a leaf stem that was supposed to have all the cocaine removed from it. According to DW-World, “the coke is not harmful, but it violates food law,” (said Thomas Schulz, a spokesman for the Thuringian Ministry of Health).

Coca-Cola supposedly contains coca extract as well–why haven’t officials ever found traces of cocaine in it, too (post-1903, of course)?

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  • Sharon McEachern

    Most people have no idea what’s inside the food & drink they consume. Of course, it’s even more difficult when the manufacturers don’t list all of the ingredients. Take caffeine — folks have no idea how much caffeine they consume daily because caffeine is in everything! Besides coffee, colas and energy drinks, caffeine is in cold medicine, chewing gum , candy bars and even potato chips! Ethic soup blog has an excellent series of concise and informative articles on caffeine (including “caffeine intoxication”) at: