We usually hear about the struggles of getting coke out of South American countries, but importing it may be the problem now. We're talking about Coke Zero, which was just banned in Venezuela by officials citing unspecified health hazards.
While the ban seems like it came out of nowhere, various countries, states, and institutions have been imposing bans on popular drinks for years now. We decided to take a look back and break down the most notorious banned beverages....
• Where: Germany, Denmark, Norway, Uruguay, Iceland, France
• When: 1996 - 2009
• It's not like you didn't see this one coming. Red Bull has actually been around since the late '80s, but it has faced opposition from countries that view it as a health hazard since its popularity skyrocketed in the mid-'90s. France, who lifted its ban last year, was the first opponent, banning the energy drink way back in 1996. Germany is the most recent, banning Red Bull in six of its 11 states after traces of cocaine were found in an Austrian shipment last month. The other countries listed still completely ban the product. Almost every country cites high quantities of caffeine and taurine as the problem.
• Where: Bodies Of NCAA Athletes
• When: 2009
• While reports of the NCAA banning six flavors of Vitamin Water were exaggerated when the story broke earlier this year, the fact remains that college athletes who drink too much of the colored water may find themselves in a heap of trouble. The primary stipulation is that schools cannot provide restricted flavors to athletes; while athletes are allowed to purchase Vitamin Water on their own, the restricted flavors contain impermissible substances (caffeine, guarana seed extract) that could result in policy violations if too much (10 20 oz. bottles) is consumed within several hours of competition. Whew, Formula-50 is still safe!
• Where: California
• When: 2008
• MillerCoors, the manufacturer of Sparks, reached an agreement with California Attorney General Jerry Brown to stop "the growing and widespread use" of alcohol-based energy drinks. That basically means that, Sparks, which accounted for 90% of the market, was banned. The ban also applied to much less popular competitors like Joose.
• Where: America And Others
• When: 2007
• As expected, Cocaine energy drink faced stiff opposition worldwide as soon as it hit the market. It was gradually banned in individual stores, 7-11 franchises, and foreign countries, before America's ban completely killed the product. The FDA issued Redux Beverages a warning stating that they were illegally marketing the product as an alternative to the real drug. Cocaine was subsequently pulled from all store shelves. We can't decide between this or Nelly's "Pimp Juice" as Worst Beverage Name Ever.
• Where: New York University
• When: 2005
• "Killer Coke" isn't a new Young Jeezy song. It's actually the movement NYU students got behind a few years ago when the university decided to ban the sale of Coca-Cola across campus. The ban was deeper than soda, extending to Minute Maid and Dasani products as well. Student activists weren't satisfied with Coca-Cola's investigation of the murder of union leaders at Colombia bottling factories, but after all the drama, the ban was lifted last year.