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Government met with Red Bull Hong Kong Office representatives, importers and retailers of Red Bull products today (June 2). They were informed that Government Laboratory had conducted tests on samples of Red Bull products and found traces of cocaine, a dangerous drug controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, in some of the samples coming from Austria and the United Kingdom.
As Government had all along adopted a zero tolerance attitude towards dangerous drugs, they were advised of the legal position under the ordinance. Having regard to the specific circumstances of the case, including the absence of prior knowledge of the cocaine content in the product, no prosecution is intended in relation to the dealing in such products in the past. However, should they continue to deal in any products containing dangerous drugs in future, they might be liable to prosecution.
Noting that the major retailer chains had already taken off Red Bull products from the shelves, the Commissioner for Narcotics, Ms Sally Wong, advised those retailers who had not done so already to follow suit as a precaution since some of the samples were found to contain the dangerous drug. It was also suggested that they consider returning the products to their suppliers. The retailers were receptive to the advice.
The test results of further samples were available this afternoon. No cocaine was detected. Government would further contact the Red Bull Hong Kong Office for more comprehensive product information, lot and serial numbers and samples for testing in order to establish whether the existence of traces of cocaine in some samples is a systematic issue or whether it relates to any particular lot or serial number.
Department of Health and Centre for Food Safety advised that given the extremely low level of cocaine found in the products, normal consumption of the products concerned is unlikely to pose psychotropic or adverse health effects.
In the case of consumers, all indications are that they are not using the products as dangerous drugs. No prosecution is intended. But as cocaine is a dangerous drug, consumers are advised not to buy or consume the products concerned.
Ends/Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Issued at HKT 21:25