April 13, 2007 -- The FDA has warned the maker of an energy drink called "Cocaine" about the drink's marketing.
In a letter to Redux Beverages, which makes the "Cocaine" drink, the FDA makes two complaints about the beverage's marketing.
First, the FDA says the drink is marketed as an alternative to an illicit street drug.
For instance, the FDA says the letters in the product name "appear to be spelled out in a white granular substance that resembles cocaine powder," and that the product container or drink's web site includes statements such as "The Legal Alternative" and "Liquid Cocaine."
Second, the FDA says the beverage's web site makes health claims that certain ingredients in the drink are intended to prevent, treat, or cure disease conditions. The FDA doesn't allow dietary supplements to make such claims.
The FDA posted its letter to Redux Beverages on the FDA's web site.
"We do not create the effects [nor] do we intend to create the effects of any illegal drug. We just have a controversial name," Hannah Kirby, managing partner of Redux Beverages, tells WebMD.
"We are adjusting our advertising and print material and product material to comply with this," she says, referring to the FDA's warning. "We want to be in compliance.
"In order to meet this compliance, we need to put a disclaimer on our web site saying that these statements are not verified or approved by the Food and Drug Administration," Kirby says. She says it was "really naive on our part" not to have such a disclaimer.
"We're an energy drink," Kirby says. "We're sugar, water, and caffeine, and every energy drink is relatively the same and ours is no exception."
Kirby says that as far as she knows, the drink's name isn't an issue with the FDA.