German States Ban Red Bull Over Cocaine Traces

Nationwide ban likely; drink-maker protests
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2009 3:02 PM CDT
Red Bull will likely receive a nationwide ban in Germany after running afoul of food safety regulations in two German states.

(Newser) – Regulators in the German states of Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia banned the sale of Red Bull after finding traces of cocaine during tests, the Telegraph reports. Levels of the chemical were not high enough to pose a health risk, but require the drink to be reclassified as a narcotic under German law. A nationwide ban will likely follow.

The manufacturer of Red Bull has rejected the ban as baseless, claiming that “de-cocainized (sic) extract of coca leaf is used worldwide in foods as a natural flavoring,” and pointed out that coca leaf extract is considered safe for use as an additive within the EU and the US. (Read more Red Bull stories.)