In the May 1984 edition of LIFE magazine, Linda Gomez, wrote an article about Coca-Cola. It was here that I first read about the inclusion of cocaine in the early days of Coca-Cola. Shortly after, a representative of Coca Cola appeared on the Ray Martin Midday Show to refute the claim, in very similar language used by Coca Cola today.

I put the cocaine question to Coca-Cola in 1985 and received a reply from Yvonne Howie, External Affairs Manager. (Yvonne is now the CEO of The CEO Institute). Again the language is precise and reflects the current lingo:

I shared this information with Linda Gomez who provided more detailed references for the presence of cocaine in Coca Cola and for dates of its removal. Her letter is here. The dates for the removal on cocaine vary between 1903 and 1905.

From Linda’s information the best information on this issue can be found in Coca-Cola — An Illustrated History by Pat Waters, Doubleday & Company, New York 1978.

Peter Fray

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