The federal government is once again raising nine kinds of hell because a company operating without the golden seal of approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is distributing quasi-mind-altering substances to the average consumer.
Specifically, these clever marketers have found a way to target that part of the American population on a mission to get their hands on legal liquids and powders to escape the harsh realities of life. But catering to this grey market has Uncle Sam feeling a bit perturbed. The heat is now on these companies to stop trying to convince folks that these products can be used as a substitute for street drugs, like cocaine.
It was just this week that the FDA fired off a warning letter to the distributors and marketers of Legal Lean Syrup (a beverage) and Coco Loco (a snortable chocolate powder) in an attempt to get them to stop slinging these unapproved substances under the guise of substitute highs. The agency says these products “are intended to be used as alternatives to illicit street drugs and that the products, as labeled and marketed, may pose safety concerns.”
And that’s not cool.
Of course, keeping in line with the United States’ modus operandi when it comes to trying to ban anything and everything that keeps the hard working citizens of this once great nation from eating a bullet during these dark times, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the company should be stopped from threatening the health and safety of our children.
“As a physician and a parent, I’m deeply troubled by the unlawful marketing of these potentially dangerous products, especially since they are so easily accessible by minors,” he said. “Encouraging the use of snortable chocolate as an alternative to illegal street drugs is not acceptable—there are very real consequences to snorting any powder, not to mention the societal dangers of promoting drug abuse.”
Over the summer, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer went knocking on the front door of the FDA, to try and get the agency to bring down the hammer on companies selling snortable, chocolate powders to every kid who walks into a convenience store. His primary target was the Legal Lean company, which is responsible for the creation of both substances that the FDA is now after. Schumer’s argument was that any product that promises “euphoric energy” and “a rush of endorphins” was nothing more than “cocaine on training wheels.”
Schumer, who failed to acknowledge that even America’s favorite morning pick-me-up “coffee” could be considered a gateway to cocaine, made just enough noise to cause problems for Legal Lean.
The FDA eventually launched an investigation into the company to get to the bottom of what it is it is actually selling.
What they found was that its product, Coco Loko, which is described as a “snuff,” essentially contains the same ingredients found in popular energy drinks, like Red Bull and Monster. However, the agency says it is concerned that snorting this or any other powdered substance might cause the user serious health problems.
In 2015, the FDA came out against pure powdered caffeine, arguing that this form of ingestion made is easier for people to die from an “accidental overdose.” The agency said that a teaspoon of caffeine powder (equal to almost 30 cups of coffee) was potentially lethal.
The other product in question, Legal Lean Syrup, was found to contain the active ingredient doxylamine, which is commonly found in over-the-counter sleep aids. The FDA is apparently miffed because the company did not include this little detail on the product’s labeling. The agency says this could cause folks some serious problems if it is mixed with alcohol.
Legal Lean now has 15 days to explain to the FDA how it plans to correct the situation.
If ignored, the agency has threatened to send in the hounds and tear the company down brick by brick. It is conceivable that the agency could partner up with the DEA on this little mission and lay down a savage crackdown on Legal Lean that includes property seizures and other rabid regulatory actions.
It’s really about preventing Americans from getting more fucked up than they already are, according to the FDA.
“At a time where drug addiction is threatening the fabric of American society, we must take action when we see efforts that may further fuel illicit drug abuse,” Gottlieb said. “We’ll continue to vigorously target bad actors that sell unapproved products, including products that contain undeclared drug ingredients.”
Just because products are approved by the FDA doesn’t mean they are safe.
The agency has put its magic seal on a wealth of questionable foods and medications throughout the years that can be linked to major health issues, including obesity and disease.
But make no mistake about it; the agency is the white hat mafia when it comes to keeping a firm thumb on all of the global businesses interested in marketing ingestible products to the American public. Any company that goes against the grain of this federal regulator gets dealt with one way or another.
In fact, the agency is largely responsible for marijuana not being considered medicine. The FDA has refused to lend any real support in the fight to give some level of legitimacy to the marijuana debate, fighting the cannabis industry tooth and nail for even suggesting that the herb comes with “therapeutic benefits.”