Blumenthal demands Coke challenge

John O'Brien Feb. 6, 2007, 5:30pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wants to put to the test claims made by Coca-Cola and Nestle that their new drink burns calories.

Blumenthal requested Monday clinical trials, tests and papers that the companies have compiled regarding the drink Enviga, which they say causes the consumer to burn more calories than he or she takes in while drinking it. He asked to see the evidence by next week.

"Unless there are credible scientific studies to support these calorie-burning claims, they may be nothing more than voodoo nutrition," Blumenthal said. "Promise of wondrous weight loss must be supported by science, not magic."

Enviga is produced by Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), the joint venture of Coca-Cola and Nestle, and is a green tea that contains caffeine, calcium and epigallocatechin gallate, also known as ECGC.

BPW says that ingredient speeds up the consumer's metabolism and increases his or her energy level. The drink also is a good source of calcium and contains antioxidants, BPW says.

Several studies that BPW feels supports its claims can be seen on the drink's website,

The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a federal lawsuit in New Jersey last week over BPW's marketing and asked the judge to prohibit it from being advertised as a weight-loss beverage.

In a report by rhe Associated Press, Coca-Cola spokesperson Ray Crockett insisted that the drink has never been marketed in that fashion and should be used as a complement to a healthy diet and exercise.

Blumenthal has already tasted victory against a drink manufacturer, earning $219,000 in a settlement with the company that produces SoBe drinks. Blumenthal said the company was claiming the drink could prevent colds in its advertising.

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