Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a “snortable” chocolate powder that is being marketed as an energy stimulant.
Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb he is concerned a new product called Coco Loko could be misleading consumers by marketing itself as an energy-boosting chocolate powder, even though it’s also made with “powerful energy drink stimulants.”
“I implore you investigate inhalable caffeine so that we may avoid exposing our families and children to any unnecessary harm,” Schumer said in the letter.
Coco Loko, which sells online for $24.99, is manufactured by Legal Lean, an Orlando, Florida-based company. Its website claims the product, made from raw cacao beans, will “give you a steady rush of euphoric energy.” The powder, which is supposed to be consumed through the nose, includes ginkgo biloba, taurine and guarana, ingredients commonly found in caffeinated energy drinks.
The powder has not been approved by the FDA, according to the Washington Post.
Schumer, in a news release, criticized Legal Lean for marketing Coco Loko “like a drug,” with online promises of providing “a state of euphoria similar to the feeling of ecstasy.” Schumer said teens might be drawn to the unregulated product believing it is merely powdered chocolate.
“Normalizing stimulants and drug consumption-like behavior is anything but harmless for our young people,” Schumer said, adding that there has been a national uptick in the number of adolescents ages 12 to 17 treated for energy drink-related emergencies. In 2011, there were 1,499 such cases in the United States, Schumer said.
In April, David Allen Cripe, a 16-year-old South Carolina student, died after drinking an excessive amount of caffeine in a two-hour period, according to a medical examiner’s report. Cripe’s heart rhythm suffered an irregularity after consuming a cafe latte, a large Diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink, doctors said.
Officials with Legal Lean did not immediately respond to a request for comment.