'Drug tea' removed from shelves

2012-09-09 14:17

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.

  • mike.boylen - 2012-09-09 14:37

    I thought it was only in England that they had high tea.

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-09-09 17:18

      lucky guys

  • werner.niksch - 2012-09-09 14:57

    so if it's just a stimulant like caffeine,then why make it illegal?

      shadho.storm - 2012-09-09 17:33

      Caffeine IS legislated on in South Africa. No wonder South Africa is a sick and dysfunctional Country. None of you know what you consuming or drinking and for this you can blame your immoral, unethical Department of Health in the first instance but not limited to the DoH In South Africa. If ONLY you knew what has been and is being found out daily regarding NON complaint, Incorrectly Labeled and or NON Compliant and Incorrectly Labeled F&B Products. YES. The Government and the F&B Industry as a whole has been taken to task and there are imminent Court Cases Lodged. Both Criminal and Civil.

      crossleyauto - 2012-09-10 00:05

      Y legalisng such thngz lyk thz y y y we wana knw?

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-09-09 14:57

    What's next Viagra tea.

      gruffi7 - 2012-09-10 08:46

      That may be hard to swallow...

  • gustav.gous.7 - 2012-09-09 15:33

    People are overreacting. We had coca tea while in Bolivia - it doesn't make you high or see purple dinosaurs or anything like that. And just by the way - you can test positive for opium use by eating a poppyseed muffin - mythbusters tested this - and that is not illegal.

      shadho.storm - 2012-09-09 17:27

      Gustav, best you learn something about qualified food forensics before you post absolute nonsense. Need more be said.

      gustav.gous.7 - 2012-09-09 20:50

      Making your username Food Forensics doesn't make you an expert. Check here:

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-09 22:41

      You can also test positive for opium by taking a legal, over-the-counter pain killer containing codeine. And I agree with Gustav, just because you made your username Food Forensics, doesn't automatically make you an expert.

  • shadho.storm - 2012-09-09 16:55

    THIS ISSUE IS SO SO OLD. Was reported on ages ago. The importers are in Gauteng as per the the website. So how can they say they dont know where its coming from. AGAIN THE DOH (Department of Health) has allowed untested products onto shelves and Retailers. Need more be said and this is just the tip of the iceberg. One of the Retailers that were and are supplying it is KNOWN,,, damn!!

  • shadho.storm - 2012-09-09 17:16

    By Sapa, Updated: 2012/07/24 Cocaine Tea Removed From Shelves The Medicines Control Council is investigating an energy tea said to contain high levels of cocaine, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday. On its website, Cocazone, the maker of Coca Tea, said it was not addictive and had been used as a medicine in South America for thousands of years, Beeld reported. Useful information that can be used in this regard. And NO, The Department of Agriculture does NOT Legislate on this "TEA"

      Shannon Adrianne - 2014-09-10 08:58

      shut up! Where can I buy this tea?

      Stephen Michael661 - 2014-09-10 10:32

      What do benzodiazepines have to do with coca tea? Really now. One is a stimulant the other a family of tranquilisers/sedatives

  • brionyl.french - 2012-09-10 06:33


  • attie.mostert.9 - 2012-09-10 08:41

    Go Polokwane, you guys are on a roll

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-09-18 20:01

    Coca leaves are eaten traditionally by the Inca(and theyve been doing it for a rather long time), I dont see the problem of the tea?

      Shannon Adrianne - 2014-09-10 08:59

      Me neither!

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