Coca-Cola Still Made From Coca Leaves


In order for Coca-Cola to continue to exist in its current form, the company has a special arrangement with the Drug Enforcement Administration, allowing it to import   dried coca leaves from Peru (and to a lesser degree, from Bolivia) in huge quantities.The dried coca leaves make their way to a Cocacola2processing plant in Maywood, New Jersey, operated by the Stepan Corporation, a publicly traded chemicals company.  The Stepan factory imports roughly 100 metric tons of the leaves each year, stripping the active ingredient—the cocaine—from them.  The cocaine-free leaves are then shipped off to Coke to turn into syrup, and, ultimately, soda.

What does Stepan do with the cocaine? It goes to the Mallinckrodt Corporation, which creates a legal, topical anesthesia called cocaine hydrochloride.  Cocaine hydrochloride is used to numb the lining of the mouth, nose, or throat, and requires a DEA order form to obtain.