Snortable chocolate, which is slowly becoming a trend has gained attention for all the wrong reasons lately. New York Senator Charles Schumer on July 9, 2017, called for a federal ban on Coco Loko, a snortable chocolate powder. He called the new product made of chocolate “cocaine on training wheels” and warned against its use, stressing that the idea behind it may coerce children into experimenting with dangerous drugs.
Contradicting the opinions shared by Schumer about the product, Nick Anderson of Legal Lean, an Orlando-based company that produces Coco Loko, said, “I don’t think he understands this product. Kids can go to Whole Foods and buy a pound of raw cacao for 10 bucks.” Conflicting views about the product’s harmful effects arose after it was reported that Coco Loko contains raw cocoa mixed with energy drink stimulants. Schumer reiterated that it might prove hazardous to breathe in the stimulants as opposed to drinking them.
Warning against contents of Coco Loko
The New York Democrat has urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ban sales of Coco Loko with immediate effect, stressing that the company has positioned the product similar to the illegal drug ecstasy. However, Anderson said that constituents of the product will pose no danger to its users, irrespective of their age. He said that the container of Coco Loko contains stimulants equivalent to two energy drinks inclusive of the caffeine present in cacao. According to him, it is practically impossible for even two adults to breathe in the entire quantity during the course of one night. The marketing of the product is aimed at those who are 18 or above, media reports said.
Coco Loko is made up of 2,000 mg of raw cacao, 100 mg each of taurine, guarana, ginkgo biloba, blood flow-improving amino acid L-Arginine and two B vitamins. The quantity of the listed contents in the product is much different from that found in an 8 ounce can of the energy drink Monster that contains 1,000 mg of taurine and 2,500 mg of an “energy blend” that includes caffeine and guarana.
Exploiting regulatory loopholes
Anderson managed to develop Coco Loko as there is no law governing manufacture and sales of chocolates that can be snorted. In addition, lack of information about potential health effects of the product has added to the existing debate and curiosity surrounding it.
The list of controlled substances does not include chocolate or the contents involved in the making of Coco Loko. As the FDA can enforce its authority to monitor only drugs that cannot be classified as food, it is still not clear if the federal agency has any authority to regulate the sales of Coco Loko. “The FDA is not prepared to issue a determination regarding whether and how this product is subject to FDA jurisdiction at this time. In reaching that decision, FDA will need to evaluate the product labeling, marketing information, and/or any other information pertaining to the product’s intended use,” said FDA spokesperson Peter Cassell.
Road to recovery
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