NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An energy drink called Cocaine has been from pulled from stores nationwide amid concerns about its name, the company that produces it said yesterday.
Clegg Ivey, a partner in Redux Beverages LLC of Las Vegas, said the company plans to sell the drink under a new name for now.
The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter last month that said Redux was illegally marketing the drink as a street-drug alternative and a dietary supplement. May 4 was the deadline for the company to respond.
The FDA cited as evidence the drink's labeling and Web site, which included the statements "Speed in a Can," "Liquid Cocaine" and "Cocaine - Instant Rush." The company says Cocaine contains no drugs and is marketed as an energy drink. It has been sold since last August in at least a dozen states.
"Of course, we intended for Cocaine energy drink to be a legal alternative the same way that celibacy is an alternative to premarital sex," Ivey said. "It's not the same thing and no one thinks it is. Our product doesn't have any cocaine in it. No one thinks that it does. We think it is most likely legal in the United States to ship our product."
Ivey said the FDA did not order the company to stop marketing the drink, but officials were concerned about possible legal action. They will announce a new name within a week and hope to have the product back on store shelves within a few weeks.
"What we would like to do is continue to fight to keep the name because it's clearly the name that's the problem," Ivey said. "What we can't do is distribute our product when regulators in the states and the FDA are saying that if you do this, you could go to jail." *