Officials Probing Energy Drink for 'Voodoo Nutrition' Claims

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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Monday announced an investigation into claims by Coca-Cola (KO) and Nestle that their new drink can burn calories and is not "voodoo nutrition."

Blumenthal's investigation focuses on Enviga, a green-tea drink that contains caffeine, calcium and a green tea extract known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Coke says EGCG speeds up metabolism and increases energy use, especially when combined with caffeine.

An Enviga Web site claims that the drink's blend of green tea and caffeine burns more calories than it contains and can help drinkers maintain an ideal weight. According to a Nestle study, young people who drank three of the 12-ounce drinks a day burned an average of 106 calories.

Blumenthal demanded copies of all scientific studies, clinical trials, tests and papers that prove the calorie-burning claim by next week.

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

Calls were placed to Coke and Nestle seeking comment.

Enviga's Web site says the drink is available in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with a national release scheduled this year.

A nonprofit watchdog group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, have threatened to sue Coke and Nestle over their Enviga claims. Coke officials called the lawsuit threat a "meritless publicity stunt."