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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Still the Real Thing! 

According to this article in the Los Angeles Times, Peru's nascent soft drink industry is banking on finding loopholes in UN anti-drug laws to start exporting flavored sugar water with small amounts of coca extract (and trace amounts of actual cocaine) in it, under the brand name "Kdrink." Yum, I guess.

Interesting enough. But here's the kicker:
With the notable exception of Coca-Cola, products using coca leaves are banned in most nations beyond the Andes...In 1886, an Atlanta pharmacist invented Coca-Cola as a brain-stimulating tonic that combined cocaine and an extract from the caffeine-producing kola nut.

Coke dropped cocaine from its recipe at about 1900, but the secret formula still calls for a cocaine-free coca extract produced at a Stepan Co. factory in Maywood, N.J.

Stepan buys about 100 metric tons of dried Peruvian coca leaves each year, says Marco Castillo, spokesman for Peru's state-owned National Coca Company, Enaco.
Maybe I'm the last one on the block to hear of this, but WTF? The Coca-Cola corporation buys 100 metric tons of coca leaves a year? From the national coca company of Peru? Enaco?

Maybe we should tell Hamid Karzai about this. He could contact Snapple about marketing Laudanum Iced Tea, after setting up the Afghan National Poppy Company, Afnapopco.

UPDATE: You can check out Enaco's offerings here, but only in Spanish.

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