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Cocaine test prompts Red Bull removal in Germany

May 26, 2009 9:16:57 AM PDT
Six German states have told retailers to stop selling Red Bull Cola energy drinks after a test found a trace amount of cocaine.

The bans started Friday after a sample test conducted by authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia state found 0.4 micrograms per liter in the drink.

Five other states also banned it from shops amid concerns over possible narcotics law violations.

Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment said Monday that the cocaine level was too low to pose a health risk. It planned to produce a more detailed report Wednesday.

Red Bull said its cola is "harmless and marketable in both the U.S. and Europe." It said similar coca leaf extracts are used worldwide as flavoring, and a test it commissioned itself found no cocaine traces.

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