Coca-Cola is not just a catchy name. When first launched, one of the cola’s key ingredients was coca leaves, the plant that cocaine is derived from. Though the company removed cocaine from the carbonated concoction over 100 years ago, coca leaves are actually still used to flavor Coke. The soda brand has an exemption with the government allowing them to import coca leaves into a decocanization plant in New Jersey where cocaine is removed so the leaves can be used in Coca-Cola for their natural flavors.
According to the BBC, authorities have already ruled out any involvement by employees at the plant, instead calling the 370 kilos of cocaine included in a shipment of orange juice concentrate from Costa Rica “a very bad surprise.” “The first elements of the investigation have shown that employees are in no way involved,” Jean-Denis Malgras, the regional president of Coca-Cola, was quoted as saying. The seizure is being called one of the largest to happen on French soil.
Police are now trying to track down exactly where these drugs came from. It seems a bit unthinkable that anyone would send that much cocaine to the wrong place. It’s not like someone wrote “Coke” on the side of the package and it was accidentally delivered to the soda brand. Or maybe that’s exactly what happened. Costa Ricans speak Spanish and the French speak French; maybe $55 million worth of blow got lost in translation…
Finish reading: $55 Million Worth of Cocaine Showed Up at a Coca-Cola Plant
CNAP Comment: Did you know that Coca Cola still flavors it’s coke with cocoa leaves that go through a decocanization process in New Jersy to remove the cocaine?
They do that with coffee beans too – remove the caffeine, which is also a drug.
However, not all of the caffeine can be removed from the coffee bean and a certain amount is allowable by law to be contained in a decaffeinated product.
My bet is that the same rules apply for the decocanization process removing cocaine from the cocoa leaves. Some residual is allowable by law since it is impossible, more likely improbable, that all traces of cocaine can or will be removed via the process.
Kind of like, exactly like, the dairy-free people who traditionally were allowed to call a product dairy-free if it stayed within numerically low limits allowed by the law that dictates the ratio.