Attorney general cans "Coke" over drug, health marketing claims

By Rob Luke | May 3, 2007

Greg Abbott

AUSTIN -- Richard Blumenthal apparently isn't the only state attorney general that has worries about a new drink called "Cocaine" running all around his brain.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced in a May 2 press release that the drink is for now no longer available to Texas consumers because it has been marketed as a "legal alternative" to street drugs.

The Dallas court this morning issued a temporary restraining order halting marketing and selling of the drink in Texas. It is manufactured by Nevada-based Redux Beverages and distributed by three Texas companies.

Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal announced last week that he had succesfully embargoed the "Cocaine" drink, LegalNewsLine reported. He promised "aggressive legal action" if Redux broke the embargo by selling the product in Connecticut.

The restraining order against "Cocaine" in Texas followed a lawsuit Abbott filed today against Redux and its distributors charging misleading and unapproved marketing. A hearing on the suit is scheduled for May 16 at the 44th District Court of Dallas County.

Abbott's suit charges the drink is advertised with "warnings" of "excess excitement, stamina, fun and possible feelings of euphoria." It also states that Redux cannot prove health benefits it claims for the drink, such as lowering cholesterol.

The Texas Department of State Health Services recently seized around $200,000 worth of the drink at several Dallas-area warehouses, Abbott's release stated. The Department then referred the case to Abbott's office for legal action.

Abbott is charging the companies with violating the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, which carries fines of $25,000 per breach, and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which fines $20,000 per violation. It also seeks a permament injunction against its marketing and sale in Texas.

The commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection said last week that "Cocaine" was targeted not because of its name but because Redux is unlicensed in the state.

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