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    Red Bull Responds to Cocaine Reports

    Drink maker says use of de-cocainized coca leaf extracts in Red Bull Cola is safe.

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Red Bull issued a statement yesterday in response to the recent flurry of media reports that Red Bull Cola is being banned from stores in Germany after traces of cocaine were found in samples of the drink.

    Red Bull said the German Nordrhein-Westfalen Institute of Health and Work raised concerns with German authorities regarding the inclusion of de-cocainized coca leaf extract in Red Bull Simply Cola after analyzing a single can of the product.

    De-cocainized coca leaf extracts are used as flavoring in food products around the world and are considered to be safe, according to Red Bull. Indeed, the drink maker noted Food and Drug Administration regulations provide that it is acceptable and safe to use de-cocainized coca in food products in the U.S., and therefore, Red Bull Simply Cola and other products containing such extracts may be sold legally in the U.S. Other countries have similarly recognized the safety of using the ingredient, Red Bull stated.

    "Although only de-cocainized coca leaf extracts are used in Red Bull Cola, we take the German authority's concerns seriously and had our product analyzed by an independent accredited institute, which has confirmed that alkaloids (cocaine) from the coca leaf are not detectable in our product," the statement read. "Further, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment confirmed publicly that the ingredients contained in Red Bull Simply Cola present no risk to human health and no risk of any undesired pharmacological effects, including any potential narcotic effects."

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