Senator: Snortable Chocolate is 'Cocaine On Training Wheels'

By Britni de la Cretaz 07/13/17

Senator Chuck Schumer has approached the FDA with his concerns about the kid-friendly marketing of Coco Loko. 

Senator Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has launched a campaign against so-called “snortable chocolate,” asking federal investigators to examine the substance, CBS New York reports.

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Schumer lays out his concerns that the substance is being marketed like a drug and could be dangerous, particularly for children.

The chocolate product, called Coco Loko, is marketed as “raw cacao snuff” and contains caffeine and, according to Schumer, ingredients like taurine, guarana, and ginkgo biloba, which are commonly found in energy drinks.

“I call this product cocaine on training wheels. That’s really what it is,” Schumer declared at a news conference Sunday evening. “We ought to get rid of it.”

Nick Anderson, the founder of Legal Lean which manufactures Coco Loko, has said he didn’t consult any medical professionals but believes his product is safe. “There’s really no negative publicity, so I felt we’re good to go,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America last Thursday.

The product promises feelings of well-being, mental focus, ecstasy-like euphoria and a rush of “motivation that is great for partygoers to dance the night away without a crash,” according to Legal Lean’s website. The product page offers a list of effects, including an “endorphin rush” and “serotonin rush,” and also claims to provide both “euphoric energy” and “calm focus.”  

Other products on Legal Lean’s website include “Purple Drank Relaxation Syrup” and “Limitless Energy”—neither of which list the ingredients or describe how the substances work or what they are supposed to do.

“What kind of product should be on a candy shelf that’s similar to ecstasy? What kind of product should kids be allowed to buy that is similar to ecstasy? And why does the company have such gall that they advertise it that way?” Schumer said.

Raw cacao is apparently already quite popular in Europe. It is a snortable stimulant being marketed to wellness junkies who want a natural boost without getting drunk or high in the traditional sense. 

Coco Loko has not been FDA approved and, according to CBS New York, the agency has yet to determine if it has the authority to regulate the product.

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.