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'Cocaine' drink pulled from shelves nationwide


NEW HAVEN, Conneticut. - A Las Vegas company has agreed to pull the energy drink Cocaine from stores nationwide amid concerns about the product's name, a partner in the company said Monday.

Clegg Ivey, a partner in Redux Beverages, said the company plans to sell the drink under a new name until it can answer concerns expressed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA issued a warning letter last month that said Redux was illegally marketing the drink as a street drug alternative and a dietary supplement.

The FDA cited as evidence the drink's labeling and Web site, which included the statements "Speed in a Can," 'Liquid Cocaine" and "Cocaine _ Instant Rush." The company says Cocaine contains no drugs and is marketed as an energy drink. It is sold in at least a dozen states.



Ivey said the FDA did not order the company to stop marketing the drink, but officials were concerned about possible legal action. They will announce a new name within a week and hope to have the product back on store shelves within a few weeks.

"What we would like to do is continue to fight to keep the name because it's clearly the name that's the problem," Ivey said. "What we can't do is distribute our product when regulators in the states and the FDA are saying that if you do this, you could go to jail."

Attorneys general in Connecticut and Illinois recently announced that Redux had agreed to stop marketing Cocaine in those states, while a judge in Texas has halted distribution there.

"Our goal is to literally flush Cocaine down the drain across the nation," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who announced the company's agreement with his state Monday. "Our main complaint about Cocaine is its name and marketing strategy seeking to glorify illegal drug use and exploit the allure of marketing 'Speed in a Can,' as it called the product."

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection pulled 300 cases of Cocaine from state stores on April 23, saying Redux Beverages did not license the product as required by law.

As part of the agreement, Connecticut distributors and retailers can return unused product to Redux for a full refund.

A message seeking comment was left with a FDA spokeswoman.



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