Maryland Professor Finds Cocaine in Organic Herbal Tea

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    When a Delaware woman claimed that drinking herbal tea caused her to fail a drug test and lose her job, a chemistry professor tested the tea and made an alarming discovery.

    Dr. Miguel Mitchell said when he tested the Peruvian Delisse coca tea at his Salisbury University lab in Salisbury, Md., he was shocked at what he found.

    "It turned out to be cocaine," he said, "not a breakdown product of cocaine, but cocaine itself, and it matched exactly."

    Mitchell said there was enough cocaine in each tea bag to serve as a stimulant, similar to caffeine, but not enough to be addictive or get a person high.

    Mitchell said what's even more alarming is that the tea is FDA-approved and marketed as a 100 percent organic product that helps with weight loss, PMS, depression and irritability.

    "I'm really surprised that people are allowed to buy it," he said.

    Mitchell said the lesson for consumers is to be aware that just because something says it's organic doesn't mean it's good for you.

    Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

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