The Controversial Secret Ingredient of Coca-Cola
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark" <mark@...>
> To: <LegacyofColonialism@yahoogroups.com> Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006
> 2:42 PM
> Subject: [LegacyofColonialism] The Controversial Secret Ingredient of
> The Controversial Secret Ingredient of Coca-Cola
> By Gregorio J. Perez Almeida Ref:
> 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
> 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
> 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.
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