Having solved all other problems affecting Bolivia, a commission of coca farmers advising the assembly in charge of re-writing Bolivia’s constitution is asking the Coca Cola company to drop the word coca from its world-famous products. I would settle for an acknowledgement that coca is one of the ingredients of the popular soft drink, but then again I’m not as ambitious as these fellows.
March 20 Addendum: I finally found a New York Times article I remember reading a few years ago. The article is called New Peruvian Soft Drink Packs a Punch. It discusses the use of coca by Peruvian soft drink companies but, more importantly, mentions that the Coca-Cola company buys a cocaine free extract from the Stepan Company, one of the few American companies legally allowed to handle coca in the US.
So there you have it. Even though Coca-Cola will not acknowledge it officially, it seems clear to me that coca is an ingredient of the most popular soft drink in the world.
P.S. In case anyone has doubts about the accuracy of the NY Times, the Stepan Company is officially registered by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a cocaine manufacturer and also as an importer of coca leaves. Other companies that are or were allowed to import coca leaves include Mallinckrodt, Inc. and Penick Corporation.