26 May 2012

Coca-Cola Cocaine Content Removed

For God, Country, and Coca-Cola by Mark Pendergrast, 1999, Excerpts

The removal of cocaine had presented a delicate public relations problem. The implication would be that they had removed it because it was harmful, which might open the door to lawsuits. Besides, it was unthinkable to admit that Coca-Cola had ever been anything but pure and wholesome. Finally, they didn’t want the public to know that one of the drink’s more enticing ingredients was now missing. After 1900, the Company poured on the advertising, stressing the soft drink’s healthful qualities.

Candler orchestrated a mighty revision of Coca-Cola history. In later years, he repeatedly denied, under oath, that the drink had ever had cocaine in it. Even today, the Company feels compelled to deny it, though there has been no cocaine whatsoever in Coca-Cola since 1903.

In December 1902, the Georgia legislature made the sale of cocaine in any form illegal.

Coca Colla hopes to create a buzz in Bolivia
21 Apr 2010
Bolivia has started producing a new fizzy drink using the coca leaf. It is called "Coca Colla" after the Colla people, the Andean tribes who cultivate coca in the areas bordering Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. For some a matter of indigenous pride, for others another sign of Bolivia's growing anti-US feelings, this humble local initiative has set its sights on competing domestically with giants such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull.

It is backed up by a government policy of industrializing the cultivation of the coca leaf. The leaf is a key element in the Andean people's culture and economy. However, it is also cocaine's raw material. Most famously, coca leaves helped to give the kick in Coca-Cola's original formula. The company dropped cocaine from its recipe more than 100 years go, but the secret formula still calls for a cocaine-free coca extract.

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