Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Attorney General Abbott Halts Unlawful Marketing of Cocaine DrinkDALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today filed a legal action against a Nevada company and its three Texas distributors for the marketing and selling of an energy drink as an unapproved drug, claiming it is a “legal alternative” to illicit street drugs.
The Dallas County District Court issued a temporary restraining order halting all Texas marketing and distribution of the drink, “Cocaine.” Redux Beverages touts the canned drink as “speed in a can” and “liquid cocaine,” with “warnings” that consumers who drink the product may succumb to “excess excitement, stamina, fun and possible feelings of euphoria.”
|Detained 'Cocaine' Cans (Click photos to enlarge)|
|Attorney General's lawsuit against Redux Beverages|
|Temporary restraining order granted today|
“Texans will not tolerate the peddling of unapproved drugs,” said Attorney General Abbott. “This advertising campaign entices young people with illegal drug references and false claims of health benefits. The Office of Attorney General will continue to aggressively enforce this state’s consumer protection laws to ensure that Texans will not be deceived by the marketing of unapproved drugs.”
A temporary injunction hearing in the case is set for Wednesday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m. in the 44th District Court of Dallas County.
The Texas Department of State Health Services recently detained a large quantity of the drink, valued at almost $200,000, at several warehouse locations in the Dallas area. The agency then referred the case to the Office of Attorney General for legal action.
In a warning letter issued to Redux, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that because the company markets Cocaine as an alternative to street drugs, including claims that it mimics the effects of recreational drugs, then Redux cannot also promote the product as a dietary supplement. Furthermore, the FDA considers street drug alternatives to be unapproved new drugs that are prohibited in the marketplace.
According to the Attorney General’s filing, the company’s claims that users can get high and feel euphoric make the product a drug, yet the FDA has not approved it for use as a drug. Without scientific proof as required by the FDA, the company also makes health claims that Cocaine lowers cholesterol, prevents hardening of the arteries, protects nerve fibers from glucose damage, and may be used in the treatment of depression or anxiety.
The Attorney General brings this action under the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which allow for penalties, respectively, of up to $25,000 and $20,000 per violation.