FDA Warns Creators of ‘Coco Loko’ and ‘Legal Lean’

Last Updated: Friday, December 22, 2017
The creators of snortable chocolate powder “Coco Loko” and the drink “Legal Lean Syrup,” recently got a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration. Among the FDA’s concerns: how the products are promoted, and what’s not included on the products’ labels. 

Promoting Cocaine and “Lean?”

cacao poweder

Image of fresh cacao powder (for illustration purposes).
This is not the 'Coco Loko' product.

Coco Loko advertises a “minor euphoric rush” for users and Legal Lean Syrup promotes a state of “extended relaxation and euphoria.”  Many worry that the products promote illegal drug use (cocaine and “lean” in particular) to young people. 
“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,”’ FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.  said in their press release. “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.

Lab Results

The Food and Drug Administration also found a few issues after they examined Coko Loko and Legal Lean in its labs.
According to their press release, sniffing Coko Loko powder can:
  • Cause vocal cord spasms and make it hard for the user to speak or breathe. 
  • Cause lung muscles to tighten
  • Cause breathing problems for people with asthma. 
In addition, the ingredients listed on the product label for Coco Loko include taurine (type of amino acid often used in energy drinks) and guarana (a plant with a high level of caffeine). Neither of those ingredients have been tested to find out if they are safe to snort. 
And while looking at Legal Lean Syrup, the FDA found doxylamine, which was not included in the product labeling.
The agency sent the warning letter to the product creators on December 12.  They gave the companies about two weeks to respond to their concerns.

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