Cocaine re-enters high-octane energy drink sector after FDA rap

Cocaine, the energy drink voluntarily pulled from US shelves and then renamed 'NoName? in June after the US Food and Drug Administration threatened action over its provocative marketing, has been relaunched as Cocaine with an FDA-placating milder sell.

While the beverage?s high-caffeine and taurine contents are unchanged, Cocaine?s strap line, ?the legal alternative,? has been removed, along with purported health benefit statements from its website that were not FDA-approved.

Other web slogans such as ?gives you a five hour blast? and suggested cocktails like ?Cocaine Snort? and ?Cocaine Blast? have also been deleted, and an anti-drug warning has been added to product packaging.

"Since the FDA warning letter last April we have been working closely with them to adjust the marketing of the drink," said Nevada-based Redux Beverages founder Jamey Kirby.

Cocaine will also be available in select European markets, Redux stated.

In its previous incarnation, Cocaine was sold as a dietary supplement, and many in industry pointed to its removal as a fine example of the effectiveness of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) to regulate the industry.

"Your product, Cocaine, is a drug. It's also a new drug and as such cannot be sold without FDA approval," the FDA decreed, in its warning letter to Redux.

However the fact that its contents remain unchanged may concern consumer groups and others who question whether any single-occasion consumption beverage should contain the caffeine equivalent of 3.5 cups of coffee as well as other stimulant ingredients.

The beverage?s 2006 arrival caused such consternation, outraged citizens staged street protests to have it banned.

While Cocaine is not the only energy drink offering such 'high voltage? levels of active ingredients, it may yet find a trickier regulatory climate ahead as the FDA has been mulling over the issue for some time and caffeine level restrictions are a near-future possibility.

In Australia, products can not exceed established caffeine limits, and Cocaine was previously banned there for this reason.

Cocaine ingredients include 280mg of caffeine, 750mg of taurine, 100mg of inositol, B vitamins, 50mg of L-Carnitine, 250mg of D-Ribose, and 25mg of guarana.

Redux launched another energy drink last year — Brawndo — a real-world version of a fictional beverage that appeared in the film, Idiocracy.

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