NEW YORK--An energy drink that was barred by the US government from going on the market with the name "Cocaine" will re-emerge under the tongue-in-cheek moniker "Censored," its maker said Friday.
"We love the 'Censored' name because it has the same rebellious and fun spirit that our original name did," said Redux Beverages LLC founder Jamey Kirby.
The company announced Tuesday it was going to change the name of the "Cocaine" beverage in the face of pressure from officials and others who said it glamorized illegal drug use.
The Las Vegas, Nevada-based firm said it took the action about the title of its caffeine-loaded drink -- which contains no cocaine despite the name -- in the face of "threats" by the US Food and Drug Administration and state officials.
Legal troubles for the firm began on April 4, when the FDA issued a warning to Redux that it considered the drink illegal, saying it was being marketed as an alternative to an illegal street drug and making claims to treat or cure disease.
The drink contains over 1,100 milligrams of caffeine, slightly more than a large Starbucks coffee, according to the company, and among the highest in the category.
It also contains taurine, an amino acid, and guarana, a stimulant from a South American plant, as well as vitamins and other ingredients.
The makers pitched it as "the legal alternative" to compete in a rapidly growing market for energy drinks worth more than 3.5 billion dollars in the United States alone.
Redux claimed the drink had made inroads by taking market share from beverages including Red Bull, RockStar and Monster, which also are loaded with caffeine and other stimulants.