Popular Austrian energy drink Red Bull has come under attack in Taiwan regarding cocaine traces. Red Bull has been pulled off shelves in Hong Kong and being recalled in some countries.

Energy drink maker Red Bull has criticised Taiwanese health authorities after its products were confiscated over suspected cocaine contamination.

The Austrian drinks maker has issued a statement that disputes German authorities’ claims that trace amounts of cocaine were found in its drinks. Up to 18,000 cases of Red Bull products have been confiscated in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Red Bull drinks have been pulled from the shelves while authorities test them.

The statement from Red Bull revealed that its Energy Drink, unlike sister beverage Red Bull Simply Cola, is not flavoured from ‘decocainised’ coca leaves. Red Bull Simply Cola was pulled from shelves in parts of Germany last week due to a study that showed it contained minute traces of cocaine.

However, Red Bull Simply Cola is not available in Taiwan. “There were some concerns in Germany about the legal qualification of decocainised coca leaf extract that is issued in the production of an entirely different product – one that is not even available in Taiwan or any other Asian market – Red Bull Simply Cola and not [Red Bull] Energy Drink,” said the statement.

“It would have been absolutely impossible for the Taiwanese authorities to have found traces of cocaine in Red Bull Energy Drink. Red Bull Energy Drink does not even contain dococainised coca leaf extract.”

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