New Ecuador – Bolivia trade agreement could put the cocaine back into cola

Nov 23, 2016 | 0 comments

After more than a century’s absence, the extract from coca leaves may be returning to soft drinks.

chl-coca-leavesAn agreement signed last week between Ecuador and Bolivia means that products, including soft drinks, cosmetics, and food products, may be manufactured in Ecuador using by-products of Bolivian coca leaves.

Following its founding in the late 1880s until 1903, the U.S. soft drink Coca-Cola company contained a significant dose of coca extract, know today as cocaine. Company founder and Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton was so impressed with the “coca boost” he named his product after it. Only after some of Pemberton’s regional bottlers began adding too much cocaine and getting complaints from local governments, did the company replace it with caffeine.

Early Coca-Cola contained cocaine.

Early Coca-Cola contained cocaine.

The agreement signed in La Paz by Ecuador and Bolivia Foreign Ministers David Choquehuanca and Guillaume Long allows Ecuadorian companies to legally manufacture, sell and export products containing coca extract.

“All products using coca would be regulated and certified by the government to make sure they meet health standards,” Long said of the agreement. “It also means Bolivia can legally export coca leaves to Ecuador.”

Long added that several Ecuadorian companies are interested in producing products containing coca extract and said the government is working quickly to develop standards to allow production to begin.

“We are very pleased with this agreement and the fact that it recognizes the healthy attributes of coca,” Bolivia’s Choquehuanca said at the signing. “For too long, coca has been vilified because of its role in illegal drug use, but it can also produce very healthy products when processed legally.”

Currently, coca tea is sold legally in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, but other products are prohibited under United Nations drug regulations.

CuencaHighLife

Expat Community News

Dani News

Google ad

FAAN News

Fund Grace News

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of February 18

The Cuenca – Molleturo – El Empalme Road Remains Shut Down Due to Landslide.

Read more

Woman Escapes House Arrest in Cuenca While Under Police Surveillance.

Read more

Ecuador and Colombia Forge Agreement for Individual Prisoner Repatriation.

Read more

Google ad

Veronica Arpi News

Gypsy News

Hogar Esperanza News

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!