Talk:Coca

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Legality[edit]

In what countries is it legal to grow coca?

It is legal on certain registered farmers in Bolivia but ONLY for it's consumption in it's unrefined state (ie not for onward processing into cocaine). The sale of a wide range of products made from coca leaves (shampoo, toothpaste, creams etc etc) is legal in Bolivia, although any attempt to import any such items into neighbouring Chile is illegal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.30.108.12 (talk) 14:54, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

There are also legal coca farmers in Peru. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.81.4.138 (talk) 04:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Coca tea is legal in most South American countries (not sure about Brazil and Paraguay). You can also buy coca tea (in bags, imported from Peru) in South Africa. I think more research should be done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.242.165.251 (talk) 12:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Nonsensical[edit]

Some anesthetics such as Novocaine are derived from the coca plant.

Novocaine (procaine) is NOT derived from coca. It is entirely synthetic.Nomad57 17:30, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The LD50 of coca extract is 3450 mg/kg, however, the LD50 of the extract based on its cocaine content is 31.4 mg/kg, indicating that the coca leaf contains constituents other than cocaine that may contribute to a toxic effect of the plant.

A higher LD50 (lethal dose to 50% of population) means the substance is LESS toxic. This is saying "it takes a lot of the plant extract to kill someone. It takes very little of the cocaine part of the extract to kill someone. Therefore, the plant must have something in it that's more toxic"Lesqual 05:49, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Obsolete[edit]

These paragraphs look obsolete:

In the Kew Bulletin for January 1889 is an account of the history and botany of the plant, which has been so long under cultivation in South America that its original home is doubtful.
As the result of this cultivation, numerous forms have arisen.
The writer distinguishes from the typical Peruvian form with pointed leaves a variety novo-granatense, from New Granada, which has smaller leaves with a rounded apex.
The plant is now cultivated in the West Indies, India, Sri Lanka, Java and elsewhere.
The preparations of coca leaves are incompatible with certain drugs which might often be prescribed in combination with them, such as salts of mercury, menthol and mineral acids, which latter decompose cocaine into benzoic acid and ecgonine.

If this information can be confirmed from more recent sources, we can reintroduce it.

-- Viajero 21:56, 31 Jul 2003 (UTC)


"The Coca-Cola Company buys 115 tons of coca leaf from Peru and 105 tons from Bolivia per year, which it uses as an ingredient in its Coca-Cola formula (famously a trade secret). The cocaine itself does not end up in the drink nowadays, however, and is generally sold to the pharmaceutical industry where it is used for various surgical procedures." If Coca Cola suposedly buys it to use it in its formula, how come it doesn't end in the drink itself?

Cocaine is merely a single chemical ingredient in coca leaves. One would gather from this that Coca Cola uses other ingredients from the coca leaves for flavoring rather than cocaine.
I beleive that the leaves are "de-cocainized." The cocaine is sold for use in anaesthetics and apparently cough syrups (that's what was said in coca-cola's talk page). I would imagine the DEA makes sure it goes somewhere legit... I never knew cough syrups could have cocaine in them. I'm sure if not there, the DEA has the cocaine destroyed. As for the early years, cocaine was probably used for both the taste and the stimulant effect, same thing as caffeine nowadays (of course caffeine is a much weaker drug and doesn't have any euphoric effect, and is thus legal)--AK7 10:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, caffeine can have euphoric effects in large enough amounts, but it's concentration in beverages (soda, coffee, tea) is actually very low. That's the real reason you don't get a true high from drinking any reasonable amount of coffee, tea, or caffeine-containing soda. I mention this because the effect also actually applies to cocaine, which explains why chewing coca leaves is nowhere near as harmful as snorting purified cocaine. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 02:32, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

The proper translation of "coca no es cocaína" is "coca is not cocaine," so I have changed the author's paraphrase. Kemet 9 Jan 2006.

Exportation of plant[edit]

The article mentions the exporting of cocoa leaves, but I have never heard of coca plants being grown outside of south america (which is remarkable considering how much money a drug ring could make if they grew their coca locally). In the Coca eradication page it is said that coca is a very resilient plant- why hasn't it been grown elsewhere? Or perhaps it has? --AK7 10:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Merger of Coca tea[edit]

Coca tea is a relatively short article, and much of the information on health benefits seems as if it would apply to coca consumed in the traditional manner (chewing) as well. It seems it would be best incorporated into the "Traditional Uses" section here. Please comment on this proposal. (forgot to sign original comment) Choess 23:06, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your assessment. Though of course the proper length of the Coca tea article is a matter of debate itself at the moment. -- Veyklevar 09:26, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe this article should be merged with the coca section. -- Ukiemob 13:26, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I concur. Merge the articles. Helzagood 12:47, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

coca-cola <3

Coca Sek Controversy Section Cleanup[edit]

This section of the article has some serious bias that needs to be corrected. Things like "gaining the respect it deserves" have to be edited. I don't know enough about this controversy to do it myself, but someone who does should see if they can make some changes.

Tone of the historical references[edit]

I'm a little concerned that phrases like "_Even today_, chewing coca leaves is a common sight ..." are non-neutral and/or patronizing, implying that this custom should be expected to have died out. Any objection to editing those?

Also, the article says Coca-Cola "used to buy" coca leaf for flavoring ingredients; I understood (according to the article on Coca-Cola) that they still do.Ckeavney (talk) 19:04, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Reorganization proposed[edit]

I have been working (off-line) on a significant reorganization of this article. It seems clear that different sources have been pulled together and the same information is repeated in different places. I propose to rearrange the sections, combine some paragraphs, delete some of the statements that are unsourced and dubious, add a few sources and references to other related Wikipedia articles.

Ckeavney (talk) 18:51, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

How about removing the "balance" tag now?[edit]

This is my first significant edit on Wikipedia. I have combined paragraphs that covered the same subject, moved others around, and deleted some dubious or slanted statements (including references to Shakespeare, Queen Victoria, Pope John Paul II, Bill Gates, and Princess Anne, and nutritional claims that seemed doubtful). I hope I have improved the organization and balance of the article. Do people think we can remove the "Unbalanced" tag now? Ckeavney (talk) 03:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Is the BBC reliable?[edit]

Yes it is. The problem is, the BBC news story linked does not actually say that Coca Cola uses an extract of trujillo as flavoring. The article says that the Coca Cola company does not disclose its flavorings as the recipe is propriatary information. In other words, the article cited is not a reliable source for the claim made in this article and it is that unsourced claim which I deleted. Reliable sources is not simply a matter of whether some source won the Nobel Prize or something, it is about using sources appropriately and accurately. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:57, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Someone put the claim back in, with more irrelevant non-references, and I have removed it again. One reference was a web-page that itself provides no sources for the claim - clearly not a reliable source. Another was an editorial that, after asserting the claim, immediately went on to day that Coca Cola doesn't support the claim. All the other sources include only one fact: Coca Cola does not disclose its recipe. In short, none of the sources provided offer any reliable evidence that Coca Cola uses coca leaves. One source claims that Coca Cola received a license to import coca leaves; I contacted both the DEA and the FDA and both responded that they had no knowledge of any such arrangement ... so who did Coca Cola get the license from? This is just an urban myth and I see no reason for Wikipedia to repeat unsourced and meaningless claims. Note: I have no objection to the claim whatsoever, if we had a reliable source that actually said that Coca Cola used coca leaves today, with appropriate evidence, then I would be all for putting the claim back in the article. Just find a source that actually documents this fact - not one that speculates or rehashes web-gossip. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Let's have some standards. Slrubenstein | Talk 09:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

This is ridiculous. Just look at Coca-Cola formula and you will find referenced sources that say that Coca Cola uses de-cocainized coca leaves as a flavouring agent. One of the standards of Wikipedia is to check information – something you are obviously incapable of. - Mafia Expert (talk) 13:26, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Um, yeah, I am obviously incapable of checking information, right. Well, your idea of checking information is googling the web. Good plan - wikipedia, a web-based encyclopedia, will just reproduce information already on the web, meaning often misinformation. My idea of checking information is to go to reliable sources. I e-mailed the Food and Drug Administration which has regulatory oversight over Coca Cola and coca leaves. Their reply to me:

The source of any ingredient is proprietary but coca leaves are not permitted under DEA law. Cola nuts can be imported into the US. There is a great deal of misinformation on the internet.
Jeannine Ertter, A.S.C.P.
Senior Public Affairs Specialist
Communication and Coordination Staff
Office of Food Defense, Communication,
Educations and Response
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Isn't this an example of checking information? Slrubenstein | Talk 16:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

No, this is a very partial check of information. It says nothing about the importation of coca leaves under special licence and also says nothing about de-cocainizing the leaves. If you think three lines of the FDA solve the problem, you are wrong. There is Article 1f) of the 1961 Single Convention that specifies that "coca leaf" means the leaf of the coca bush except a leaf from which all ecgonine, cocaine and any other ecgonine alkaloids have been removed. See: Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
Coca-Cola changed its formula in 1906, using the coca leaf as a flavouring agent without the cocaine alkaloids; this was made legitimate under Article 27 of the Single Convention of 1961 (Additional provisions relating to coca leaves):
1. The Parties may permit the use of coca leaves for the preparation of a flavouring agent, which shall not contain any alkaloids, and, to the extent necessary for such use, may permit the production, import, export, trade in and possession of such leaves.
2. The Parties shall furnish separately estimates (article 19) and statistical information (article 20) in respect of coca leaves for preparation of the flavouring agent, except to the extent that the same coca leaves are used for the extraction of alkaloids and the flavouring agent, and so explained in the estimates and statistical information.
Coca leaves from which the alkaloid has been extracted are no longer considered coca leaves and are not covered by the Convention. The residue of the leaves can therefore be commercialised with no control, which particularly favours the Coca-Cola Company. In fact, it was tailormade for Coca Cola with the help of US diplomacy. Moreover, under Article 27§2 Coca Cola does not have to provide estimates (meaning the amount of coca leaves it needs) because it imports the leaves through Stepan Company which provides the flavouring residue to Coca Cola and the alkoloids to another company. This way Coca Cola can hide its imports which may reveal its precious formula. You can find all of this on the Internet if you know how to research an issue. - Mafia Expert (talk) 16:43, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Yet, these were not in the original sources provided for the claim in this article. If this is what it takes to get you to provide the reliable sources, i am glad I did not waste my efforts. Good job! Slrubenstein | Talk 17:56, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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Coca vs. Cocaine - not synonyms[edit]

"The drug was first introduced to Europe in the 16th century" and "Cocawine (of which Vin Mariani was the best-known brand) and other cocaine-containing preparations" are misleading in that coca by itself is not a drug, and though wines that contained coca naturally also contained cocaine, to call them "cocaine-containing preparations" is misleading. "These products became illegal in most countries outside of South America in the early 20th century, after the addictive nature of cocaine was widely recognized." This also seems to make coca and cocaine synonymous. There should probably be some sort of explanation that though the reason they became illegal is because of fear of addiction to cocaine, it should be noted that products that simply used coca as an ingredient should not be frivolously lumped in with products that contained pure cocaine, even though that is what the US government erroneously did.Kunderscoreuy (talk) 23:23, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Euphoric and psychoactive effects?...[edit]

The article reads: "Absorption of cocaine from the leaf is much less rapid and efficient than from the purified forms of cocaine, and it does not cause the euphoric and psychoactive effects associated with use of the drug."

I've never used refined cocaine, so I wouldn't know how chewing coca would compare with that, but I have chewed coca leaves quite a few times here in the Peruvian Andes, and did often get a euphoric effect, or "high" - albeit a fairly mild one - maybe about the same as after quite a few sips of Argentine mate....

I guess the effect is different for each person, but it might be good to slightly modify the article to reflect this. 190.42.110.98 (talk) 23:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

As the contributor of the excerpt above, I have to admit that I also have no personal experience with refined cocaine. But "fairly mild" is not how its effects are usually described. Ckeavney (talk) 03:51, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Cocaine in Coca Cola[edit]

As has been discussed before, the flavoring and the cocaine are separately extracted from the coca leaves. The flavoring, and hence Coca Cola, will inevitably always contain some trace amounts of cocaine. These trace amounts will be so small as to have no physiological effect however. This should be added to the article as it is fairly significant and clears up a lot of misconceptions. Kernow (talk) 08:29, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Binomial spelling[edit]

The binomial is correctly spelled Erythroxylon coca, not Erythroxylum as the Article currently shows it. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 02:37, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

 Not done. What is your authoritative source? 75.210.16.59 (talk) 06:40, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Nutritional content of Coca leaf[edit]

Should the nutritional content be added to this page? Coca leaf is used for chewing and as tea, and therefore some nutrients must be absorbed by the gut. Which are those?

Asuka Rei (talk) 01:00, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

We should briefly define "de-cocainized"[edit]

"A de-cocainized extract of coca leaf is reportedly one of the flavoring ingredients in Coca-Cola." -- so as to reaffirm that the use of "de-cocainized" coca in Coca Cola, Red Bull, and other food products, is not particularly controversial (as far as I know), we should briefly explain what it is. I'm personally at a loss as to the specifics of that -- does anyone know exactly what is involved in the "de-cocainizing" process, and whether or not it actually guarantees that the intoxicating factor is removed (i suppose what's left is just a "flavor component"?)? Is there a "cocaine" byproduct that has to be destroyed according to some protocol? 173.3.41.6 (talk) 09:00, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

mummies[edit]

I guess it is becoming more common to refer to all mummified corpses as mummies these days, but when I was very young any reference to "mummies" automatically led one to think of Egypt. If anyone else can sympathize with my confusion, maybe the wording in the history section could be changed to "andean [mummies]"? Msybe I'm wrong, and to help get the idea across to us last few people living under a rock, it is useful to intentionally leave it that way so we educate ourselves. :) --— robbie page talk 12:44, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

Why not just put at the top of the article that it lacks proper citations for it's data. Why put 1000 "Citation Needed" throughout the article?? It makes it look stupid and I think the reader gets it. I've seen many other articles that just put the notice on top so people know the article does not use proper citations throughout! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.240.210.66 (talk) 08:36, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Negative I believe you should count them again. Tagging specific statements particularly identifies where the article makes dubious claims. Some people think it looks stupid when there is an apostrophe in the word its or when a small number is grossly exaggerated. 75.210.16.59 (talk) 06:50, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Coca vs. Erythroxylum coca[edit]

It seemed appropriate to move the information specifically about Erythroxylum coca to a page on the species and no longer have the Erythroxylum coca redirect to this page. There are 2 coca species, so this page should be for both rather than serve as the primary page for Erythroxylum coca. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Timepastandtimepresent (talkcontribs) 02:35, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Eastern Peru[edit]

Eastern Peru is jungle and therefore it isnmt credible that coca leaf is an important cash crop there so I have removed the word eastern. I cannot verify the reference but it strikes me we need a much more accurate description of the parts of Peru where coca is a cash crop or leave it just saying Peru, which isnt wrong. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 17:09, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Pharmological Aspects[edit]

First of all, this section is so sloppily written with such poor grammar and punctuation and such a lack of discernible sentence structure that even when I tried to edit merely for these aspects I had difficulty (for example, some sentences just cut off halfway through, making it hard to discern what the author was trying to say).

Also, while there may be some truth to what the author is saying, the section remains incredibly biased and utterly non-neutral. Since its issues are more than merely terrible grammar/punctuation/structure, also lying largely in questionable content, I propose that the entire section (or at least the paragraph in question) be killed.

-Ryan Kroner, 2/15/2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.5.34.216 (talk) 15:11, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

recent edits 1 Aug 2012[edit]

IP editor removed referenced material "because it would help the neutrality of the article"? I do not see how. Please explain. Thanks. Gtwfan52 (talk) 05:59, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the IPs removal, though I also agree that there needs to be prior consensus for it. There are several problems with the text that was removed. First, it does not belong in the lede of the article, but that would be easily fixed by moving it into the article body. Second, it contains synthesis, a form of original research - for instance "However, the coca leaf is not cocaine, just as grapes are not wine." Third, this section relies very heavily on one single source, the Transnational Institute, which is a reputable source but admittedly slightly biased in this question - and more importantly, when we look for corroboration in the source for the specific facts that are referenced to the TNI, those facts are not in the source. I'm sure they may be somewhere on the website, but not in the source provided. Fourth, a lot of it is not sourced at all. Fifth, the (unsourced) last sentence, "Furthermore, current U.S.A. extraction methods use the chemicals methanol and benzoic acid to extract coca out of a coca product at a molecular level for scientific testing." does not seem to be connected to the rest of the article, I don't understand how it belongs in the article at all. Sixth, the section has a POV tone, it reads like a defense against some kind of accusation that hasn't been levelled at it in the article. (And that agrees with what the IP said.)
The part of the text that, in my opinion, should be saved is the sentence "The coca alkaloid content in coca leaves is negligible: between .25% and .77%", because that is connected to the previous sentence and it makes sense to mention it in the lede. The rest should at the very least be moved further down in the article and rewritten (and the unsourced parts need to be sourced or removed), or, preferrably, removed altogether.
Btw, Gtwfan52, could you change the heading to read "Aug 1 2012" or something like that? I keep looking at the heading and thinking it's about the 8th of January :-) --bonadea contributions talk 09:49, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I forget about the fact that most of the world does dates different than us weird Americans. Will do. Hopefully, the IP editor comes back and enters into the discussion. Gtwfan52 (talk) 18:57, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

To answer your question as to why the sentence,Furthermore current U.S.A. extraction methods use the chemical reagants benzoic acid and ethanal to extract coca out of a coca specimen,should remain is because any chemist knows that all chemistry is like a recipe.If you do not add those 2 chemicals ,plus the coca,then you will never ever get molecular benzoylecgonine.Thus proving the test method makes the benzoyleconine,not that anyone ever consumes it via a cup of tea or eating coca leaves.Which can further be proven very simply by putting a urine dip stick in a cup of coca tea,but that is for another section.This is why it was important to leave all that knowledge that was 100 percent verifiable,but for some reason no-one in the U.S.A. wanted that information out to the public,67.142.130.17 (talk) 17:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)PAITA

Transnational Institute[edit]

Hi, it seems to me that the article is overly-reliant on the Transnational Institute's "Coca Myths" Report. I don't think that TNI is a reliable source on the subject. After reading the report, this seems to be reinforced by the fact that its author lacks a PhD. Going through the report, it is evident that the author is extremely POV. I'm not saying that that precludes the report from being used, but that it should be used and cited with care to avoid carrying the report's POV into the article. Finally, the report is readily available via a Google Search, but there the article doesn't contain a link or page numbers in the reference. Without a link or page numbers, WP:V is a lot more difficult, especially when the same article is cited 15 times. --Lacarids (talk) 04:35, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Incorrect year in NYT citation[edit]

Citation number 3 refers to a NY Times article describing that coca extracts are used in coke. The citation has the date of the article wrong. It is actually July 1, 1988 (http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/01/business/how-coca-cola-obtains-its-coca.html). I tried to correct it, but wiki's not showing me all the citations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2620:0:1005:9:9D0:3A07:6818:5777 (talk) 18:56, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Fixed -- Fyrael (talk) 19:00, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you. I added the url too so that anyone can click through to the source.

Coca and condoms?[edit]

The article says the following: In recent times (2006), the governments of several South American countries, such as Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela, have defended and championed the traditional use of coca, as well as the modern uses of the leaf and its extracts in household products such as teas, toothpaste and condoms.

How do you use coca or cacain with condoms? I googled it and found nothing. Can someone explain what is meant here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.95.105.144 (talk) 15:56, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

It was probably just some old vandalism, I've removed it from the article. It was added in 2011 in this edit by an unregistered user, i.e. not by the same author who wrote the rest of the paragraph. jonkerz ♠talk 17:22, 1 July 2013 (UTC)