x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Red Bull tests free of cocaine

Soft drink taken off shelves after countries find small traces of drug in contents.

ABU DHABI // No cocaine was found in Red Bull cola sold in the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority announced yesterday. Red Bull soft drinks were taken off the shelves in several other countries after small traces of cocaine were reportedly found. Two weeks ago, samples of Red Bull cola from one of Abu Dhabi's supermarket storage rooms were sent to the Forensics Department at Abu Dhabi Police headquarters for testing, said Mohammad al Reyaysa, head of public relations at the food control authority.

Test showed the samples to be free of cocaine. The beverages tested were produced in the US on April 20. Late last month the General Secretariat of Municipalities called for tests of the energy drink after reports that Red Bull products in Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan tested positive for the drug. Red Bull's Middle East and Africa office, based in Dubai, cited analysis by the Austrian Belan Institute which concluded the beverages were cocaine-free.

Red Bull drinks were suspended from sale recently at two of Hong Kong's major supermarket chains, ParkNShop and Wellcome, after food safety officials there said they found "extremely low" levels of cocaine, which ranged from 0.1 to 0.3 micrograms per litre. hdajani@thenational.ae