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COCAINE

Court bans sale of energy drink Cocaine

The planned launch of a new energy drink called Cocaine has been halted by a court ruling before the product had a chance to hit the shelves in Sweden.

Court bans sale of energy drink Cocaine

The Environmental Court of Appeal in Höganäs decided on Friday that the drink, marketed by a company from nearby Helsingborg, cannot be sold in Sweden.

The court’s decision was based on a number of reasons including the absence of warning labels on the product indicating its high caffeine content.

The drink, which has its origins in Las Vegas, Nevada contains three times as much caffeine as competitor Red Bull.

In addition, the court ruled the name was misleading to consumers and, having failed to register its operations to the court, a 20,000 kronor fine was slapped on the company.

It was further revealed that the drink contains D-Ribose, a sugar supplement targeted towards bodybuilders to improve endurance, or patients with chronic fatigue.

”This is not an approved substance in food provisions in Europe,” said Jan Sjögren, group manager at Sweden’s National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket), the authority who sought to ban the sale of the drink.

”I don’t have much more knowledge about it but can speculate that it’s a type of sugar.”

The attempt to introduce the drink to Swedish consumers has already aroused much debate. A number of supermarket chains stated they would refuse to stock the drink.

“It has an enormously high caffeine content and a very provocative name,” said Christina Karlsson, dietician for supermarket ICA. ”We decided we would not to sell it in our shops.”

The Skåne-based company who have the right to import the product agree the name is contentious. Yet, co-owner Annica Olofsson adds that responsibility lies with the consumer, not the court.

”You only get one body in this life and it’s up to individuals how they want to take care of it,” she said.

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LIVSMEDELSVERKET

Banned substance found in Swedish candy bars

The makers of Sweden's Kexchoklad chocolate bars have halted production of the popular treat after a substance banned by the EU for use in food production was found at a Swedish factory.

Banned substance found in Swedish candy bars

Companies Cloetta and Göteborgs Kex were also forced to halt production of Smörgåsrån crackers and Sportlunch candy bars following the discovery of the antibiotic chloramphenicol.

According to Sweden’s National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket), however, the levels of chloramphenicol are so low that the substance doesn’t pose a risk to consumers. As a result, no general recall of the products is planned.

Chloramphenicol has been widely used previously as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It’s inexpensive and can be used to fight a number of different bacteria.

It’s rarely used in Sweden, however, due to known the adverse side-effect of bone marrow toxicity.

Today, chloramphenicol is used primarily to treat eye infections.

Cloetta spokesman Jacob Broberg said the discovery of chloramphenicol at its production facilities can likely be traced to an enzyme used as one of the ingredients.

“What’s seems to have happened is that one of our suppliers has changed producers and that producer didn’t inform the supplier,” he told the TT news agency.

He added that responsibility for ensuring products contain the right ingredients lies with the suppliers, although Cloetta does regular testing as well.

“In this case, we didn’t know exactly what they were looking for, which makes it hard to find it. What was in the enzyme isn’t something we normally look for,” said Broberg.

The enzyme responsible for the chloramphenicol contamination was quickly removed from the production chain, meaning there’s little risk that fans of the crispy chocolate treats will find them hard to come by.

TT/The Local/dl

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