'Drug tea' removed from shelves

2012-09-09 14:17
(File, Beeld)

(File, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A herbal coca tea has been removed from the shelves of two chain stores in Limpopo after being found to contain traces of cocaine, police said on Sunday.

"Police were alerted about this supposedly healthy tea after a woman complained about dizziness moments after drinking the tea," said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

The woman consulted her doctor, who conducted a drug test which indicated that she had consumed cocaine.

Police raided a pharmacy and a grocery store in Polokwane, where the tea was being sold, and the packages were taken away for forensic testing.

Investigations found that the address given on the tea packaging was false.

"The origin of the tea has not yet been established and members of the community are urged to refrain from buying the tea."

Police had discovered that the tea was being delivered to a pharmacy in Gauteng.

In July, the Medicines Control Council launched an investigation into a coca tea described as a "heavenly magical plant of the Incas".

Two Beeld reporters each drank a cup of the tea and had their urine tested.

Within four hours, both showed benzoylecgonine levels of over 1 600 nanograms per millilitre in their urine.

The cut-off level for drug tests was between 150 and 300ng/ml. Benzoylecgonine is the main metabolite of cocaine.

It was found that the tea could not make users "high", but worked as a stimulant, like caffeine.

- SAPA
Read more on:    polokwane  |  health and safety  |  narcotics
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