Red Bull Cola

Widge's Note: Ladies, gents, boys and girls, please welcome guest columnist and German correspondent Dom to the mix.

By now, most of you out there have heard about the banning "scandal" of Red Bull Cola (reviewed here by Widge) here in Germany. Let me try to shed some light and share my thoughts on this.

Here a rough summary of what happened through the eye of the naïve consumer: a laboratory in Germany registered some amount of cocaine in Red Bull's cola and a lot of states of our Federal Republic reacted by immediately banning it from the stores. Others did not.

The amount of cocaine was so small (0,4 microgram per litre), that some states declared -- rightly so -- that it bears no risk. In fact, according to a Bavarian state institution, to have an effect on you, a dosage needs to be as big as 25 to 50 milligrams. To put this into perspective, you would need to drink tens of thousands of litres.

Yet, cocaine is illegal and one might argue that that alone makes Red Bull Cola illegal. This would not be sane or useful...but we are talking laws here. Of course by now, "Red Bull Cola banned! Cocaine! (Get yours while you can!)" is old news. We know how short the attention span of today's people is. A new article on a German website reveals some interesting facts though: the laboratory that tested the cola used a new technology of testing that is so precise it is being used to detect cocaine traces in our rivers, on our money and in our air. So yes, the air we breathe, literally all Euro bills and most of our rivers contain cocaine.

My prediction? The states that banned the cola will lift that ban as soon as the responsible institution of our government confirms that drinking it is not dangerous. The sales of the cola will shortly raise after that which will only compensate for its lack of sales right now.

The mood that I get form the net right now is pretty much a rolling of eyes, everyone seems to think that the ban was not necessary and that it is a typical example of our government trying to solve problems by banning and regulating things.

Honestly, I think it was smart to ban the product until the cocaine amount has been officially proven to be harmless. Why? Because the states could have been sued for allowing it to be sold. I am all for avoiding unnecessary things, especially lawsuits.