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The Controversial Secret Ingredient of Coca-Cola

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  • Milo
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2006
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      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Mark" <mark@...>
      > To: <LegacyofColonialism@yahoogroups.com> Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006
      > 2:42 PM
      > Subject: [LegacyofColonialism] The Controversial Secret Ingredient of
      > Coca-Cola
      > The Controversial Secret Ingredient of Coca-Cola
      > By Gregorio J. Perez Almeida Ref:
      > www.periodico26.cu/english/features/coca011706.htm
      > Evo Morales has been saying many things that people have been wanting to
      > hear from a Bolivian president for more than five hundred years. He has
      > also been saying many things that have only been whispered about in Latin
      > America for centuries. Observations that, finally, reveal to the whole
      > world one of the motives behind Washington's stubborn presence in the
      > Andean territory, particularly in Bolivia -the control of coca leaf
      > production by the Coca-Cola Company.
      > With his traditional mild-mannered approach, Morales has revealed to the
      > international media the special treatment given by Andean governments to
      > the sale of coca leaf to Coca-Cola International, a company emblematic not
      > only of US imperialism, but also of something more effective and deeper in
      > its cultural domination over a large part of the world: "The American Way
      > of Life."
      > Morales has said that the coca leaf trade is illegal among Andean
      > countries, but not for the US company. That is, Andean citizens and
      > companies cannot freely trade coca leaves but Coca Cola can purchase as
      > much as they want in any Andean country that produces the leaf.
      > Beyond the immediate conclusion that can be drawn from this interesting
      > detail, several other hypotheses could lead to a completely new concept of
      > the understanding of drug addiction and the international drug trade. New
      > questions and suspicions arise and some past events, some of which have
      > been deliberately ignored by specialists in the anti-drug trade, become
      > more relevant.
      > First question: Are coca leaves really used in Coca-Cola? This is not a
      > rhetoric or misinformed question, but rather an obligatory case in point
      > in this matter. In 2002, the Coca-Cola Company denied the use of coca leaf
      > in the production of their soft drink. This can be confirmed in an article
      > by Luis A. Gomez published on www.rebelion.org on November 27, 2002:
      > "This week, Bolivia's undersecretary of Social Defense, Ernesto
      > Justiniano, reported that his office had authorized the exportation of
      > 350,000 bricks (about 159 tons) of coca leaf to the United States for the
      > manufacturing of the soft drink, Coca-Cola. (.)This statement was denied
      > by Karyn Dest, a spokeswoman of the United States company, in a telephone
      > interview from Atlanta, with the Mexican daily El Universal, who said that
      > the company doesn't use coca leaf and that it never has been part of the
      > drink's ingredients."
      > The same answer was repeated in December 2002 by Adriana Valladares,
      > Coca-Cola rep for Mexico.
      > A surprising answer that puts to rest the modern myth that Coca-Cola
      > contains coca leaf extract and much less cocaine. Whoever spoke about
      > cocaine in Coca-Cola? Nobody. It was a belief, a myth. Or was it perhaps
      > an advertising strategy? What was said was that the Coca-Cola Company buys
      > coca leaf by the ton. Or was it a slip of the tongue by the company's
      > spokesperson?
      > Further reading of Gomez's article reveals several other interesting
      > points; for example:
      > "It has also been made public that the Albo Export, a company owned by
      > Bolivian Fernando Alborta, has exported coca from Peru and Bolivia in
      > recent years, and that between 1997 and 1999 it sent 340 tons of coca leaf
      > to the United States.
      > These purchase and processing operations are closely monitored in Bolivia
      > by the General Coca Control and Auditing Board (DIGECO, by its Spanish
      > acronym) and in the United States, of course, by the DEA, which includes
      > outfitting the warehouses with sophisticated alarm systems and storage
      > caskets for this curious natural treasure in New Jersey."
      > But these are not the only contradictions found between the
      > "natural-product" venders and their "best clients." Peru's anti-drug Czar
      > Nils Ericsson wrote the following in an article published on January 26,
      > 2004: "Coca-Cola, the world renowned manufacturer of soft drinks bought
      > 115 tons of coca leaf from Peru and 105 tons from Bolivia to make 500
      > million bottles of the soft drink, without alkaloids (Luis Gomez, The
      > Narco Bulletin, January 28, 2005 published on www.narconews.com).
      > Luis A. Gomez believes that the pressure to eradicate coca leaf
      > cultivation in Peru (and I add, in the rest of Andean countries) is a
      > strategy to ensure that Coca-Cola has the monopoly over coca leaf
      > production. Not only in an attempt to control the coca leaf market, but
      > also to monopolize the soft drink market that uses coca leaf in their
      > product, without alkaloids? Sales of these products, -for example, Vortex
      > Coca Energy and K-Drink- are flourishing in Peru.
      > Returning to our first question, Does Coca-Cola use coca leaf in its soft
      > drink, we are left with the following conclusions. Coca-Cola International
      > is the first multinational (monopolist) company to commercialize the trade
      > of coca leaf -the essential raw ingredient in cocaine-, taking advantage
      > of its privileged legal status in Andean countries, while its spokespeople
      > deny the use coca leaf in the manufacture of their soft drink. Therefore,
      > the Coca-Cola Company must be one of the number one suspect in the
      > investigation of international drug trafficking networks. Otherwise, what
      > are they doing with all those tons of coca leaf that they buy every year?
      > Lets leave these and other questions and answers aside for the moment and
      > go right to the grain: If we hold in our hands a 600 ml bottle of
      > Coca-Cola made in Venezuela and read what is written on the label we will
      > find the following under the Coca-Cola trademark:
      > "Ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, caramel, phosphoric acid, vegetable
      > extracts and caffeine."
      > Does it anywhere mention the presence of any ingredient that warns of the
      > use of any coca leaf derivative? While the enigmatic phrase "vegetable
      > extracts" may satisfy some, others may wonder what vegetables those are
      > and what is extracted from those vegetables. If that "vegetable extract"
      > is coca leaf, a product which contains several alkaloids, further
      > questions arise such as, Which alkaloids do they leave out and which do
      > they include in the soft drink? On the other hand, if the company admits
      > to using coca leaf but says that it leaves out all alkaloids then, what
      > substance is left?
      > In view of the apparent contradiction between the actions of the company
      > that purchases tons of coca leaf in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru and the
      > efforts of its spokespeople to deny the use of coca leaf in their product,
      > the least the consumers can do is sue Coca-Cola for concealing its
      > ingredients.
      > Could citizens of the Andean countries where Coca-Cola is sold file a suit
      > -specialist would ask to what organism and on what level- against
      > Coca-Cola International? Regardless of the result, a lawsuit would be an
      > extraordinary experience in political pedagogy and public integration.
      > Other questions have revolved in our heads for years, mysteries that
      > nobody has dared unveil because they are protected by international trade
      > and industry regulations. Today, thanks to Andean coca leaf growers such
      > as Evo Morales and researchers such as Luis Gomez, we can conclude that
      > the world's most popular soft drink contains some kind of derivative
      > obtained from coca leaf.
      > If this is the case, what coca leaf derivative/s are found in Coca-Cola
      > and what relation do they have with cocaine? Do these derivatives create
      > addiction in the consumers or any physiological conditions that could
      > bring about addiction? If coca leaf derivatives in Coca-Cola do not
      > generate any addiction, then why have they made such a fuss (read
      > repression, persecution, and death) over its cultivation, processing and
      > trade in Andean countries?
      > If this is not the case, and they do not use the coca leaf in their
      > product, then they should explain to the world what they are doing with
      > all the coca leaves being stored in warehouses in Atlanta.
      > This e-mail was brought to you through the LegacyofColonialism Forum
      > e-mail list. (Web Ref. www.LegacyofColonialism.org ). The
      > LegacyofColonialism Forum e-mail list is for activists, NGOs,
      > social-justice/reparation/drop-the-debt campaigners, members of
      > land-rights movements, researchers and grassroot development workers all
      > over the world, to share information regarding how multinational profits &
      > the North's capitalist domination (led by the US
      > industrial-military-corporate complex) is sustained by the imperialism and
      > economic fraud of global institutions (the IMF & World Bank), political
      > manipulation, and the global banking system system.
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