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To be criminalized

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:39 pm
by Stevenloan
A: Just discovered Mexican Coke at a SAM's Club in Tennessee, and this stuff is amazing. American Coke tastes so... bitter in comparison. I'm hooked on the stuff and won't be able to sleep tonight . Anyone who has drank Mexican Coke: What's your take on it?

B: I think colas and sodas are a lot sweeter now than they were 50 years ago. I wish somebody would make one with a pleasant, natural bite to it, and only about half the sugar. But I guess they can't because all the original natural flavors (coca, kola, sassafras) have now been criminalized and they are just mongrelized chemical cocktails.

- Hi guys! "criminalize" means "to make something illegal". But I don't get the part "because all the original natural flavors (coca, kola, sassafras) have now been criminalized". Why did Coca Cola Company make "original natural flavors" illegal?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.


Re: To be criminalized

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:31 pm
by Erik_Kowal
By way of answering this question I can hardly do better than to quote the Wikipedia article about the kola nut:

"In the 1880s, a pharmacist in Georgia, John Pemberton, took caffeine extracted from kola nuts and cocaine-containing extracts from coca leaves and mixed them with sugar, other flavorings, and carbonated water to invent Coca-Cola, the first cola soft drink. Cocaine was prohibited from soft drinks in the U.S. after 1904, and Coca-Cola now uses "spent" leaves with no cocaine remaining; it is not known whether or not the current recipe contains actual kola nut.[9]"

(In the citations quoted from Wikipedia, I have bolded the information that is most relevant.)

Wikipedia's article about sassafras states:

"Sassafras albidum is an important ingredient in some distinct foods of the United States. It is the main ingredient in traditional root beer and sassafras root tea, and ground leaves of sassafras are a distinctive additive in Louisiana Creole cuisine. [...] Sassafras is no longer used in commercially produced root beer, since sassafras oil was banned for use in commercially mass-produced foods and drugs by the FDA in 1960 due to health concerns about the carcinogenicity of safrole, a major constituent of sassafras oil, in animal studies.[21][22]"

Person B in the exchange you quote, Steve, states that sassafras used to be an ingredient in Coca-Cola, but none of the information I have been able to find about the composition of Coca-Cola substantiates that assertion.

Likewise, though the kola nut contains caffeine, Person B is wrong to state that it (or for that matter caffeine, its active ingredient), is illegal.

Finally, the Coca-Cola Company would not have been responsible for any criminalization of ingredients, because it does not have the authority to pass laws. In the United States, which is the country I assume Person B is speaking about, it is Congress that is the chief law-making body.

Re: To be criminalized

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:59 am
by Stevenloan
Erik : Thanks so much for your very detailed answer and the Wiki link. It is really helpful.