If all night partying in Sin City and the caffeine and sugar chaser in Red Bull drinks in the wee morning hours doesn’t kill you, maybe the cocaine will.
Red Bull has long been a preferred drink of choice for Las Vegas partiers, and widely distributed in the United States, either used in mixed drinks or just swigged right out of the can. That’s why last year Red Bull deemed fit to launch their sister drink, Red Bull Cola, after a splashy Las Vegas launch.
It’s a cola-flavored spin-off to the popular Swiss-made Red Bull energy drink, marketing itself as “Strong & Natural,” containing only natural ingredients such as lemon, ginger and kola nut. Coca-Cola lists only “natural flavors” on the can’s label. The company historically has kept its ingredients a secret- until now.
The rub is that it also been found to contain coca leaf- coming from the same plant that supplies cocaine.
“Decocainized coca leaf extracts are used as flavoring in food products around the world and are considered to be safe,” Red Bull said in a released statement, citing a U.S. Food and Drug Administration code that lists decocainized coca leaf as a safe, natural extractive.
Officials in Germany are not swallowing those assurances. Six German states – half of Germany’s population – have now banned the drink and pulled the can off their shelves after a German health institute recently took a sampling of Red Bull Simply Cola, using a highly sophisticated method of testing. The sample results tested positive for cocaine — albeit a tiny 0.13 micrograms in one can. Although 12,000 liters would need to be drunk to feel any effect, that was enough to cause concern in Germany, where the country’s strict federal consumer protection agency is doing more tests.
Red Bull management, based in the Austrian city of Salzberg, counters the allegations saying it’s really not a big deal. It’s not the white powdery stuff; it won’t get you high; it won’t hurt you. But they “take the German authority’s concerns seriously” and had an independent institute test Red Bull Simply Cola, which found that cocaine was not detectable in the drink. Furthermore, they said, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment found the drink’s ingredients posed no health risks and no risk of “undesired pharmacological effects including, any potential narcotic effects.”
Meanwhile, the FDA wasn’t aware of any complaints about the drink, nor does it have plans to order a ban in this country. “We’re aware of this news report but do not have any additional information at this time,” said FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan.
Bottom’s up! Try your gambling luck and gulp Red Bull Simply Cola’s in Las Vegas like water!