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Please use Highlight for outside sources.
But the DOH has instructed the relevant authorities and retailers to pull the beverage off shelves, noting that the law here prohibits any traces whatsoever of banned drugs in food products although the traces are very slight and do not pose a health risk.
DOH officials said people should not drink the beverage if they have brought the product back from overseas trips or made purchases via the Internet.
Major retailers, including Pacific Sogo, Far Eastern, and Breeze Center, already had the product removed from shelves in their stores in Taipei City.
Other large-scale department stores, wholesale stores, supermarket chains like Shinkong Mitsukoshi, Takashemaya, RT-Mart, and Mitsusei said they do not sell the imported item.
All leading convenience store chains like 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and HiLife do not have the product either as most customers prefer locally produced energy drinks that sell for much lower prices.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) seized 17,165 cases of Red Bull Energy Drink from the warehouses of the product's importer, Nanlien International Corp., located in Taoyuan and Kaohsiung areas.
The bureau said in its statement that the value of the seized product is more than NT$25 million, with each can retailing at between NT$50 and NT$65.
The energy drink is often used by workers, drivers, those working on late night shifts, and even students who stay up late to prepare for examinations. Many think energy drinks have better stimulant effects than coffee, according to the bureau. The product is also sold as a mixer for vodka or other hard liquors for revelers at clubs and bars at exorbitant prices.
According to the foreign media reports, the German authorities notified retailers to stop selling Red Bull Cola after the cocaine traces were discovered.
Executives at Nanlien International, one of Taiwan's large trading companies, said they only started importing from the Austrian supplier in April.
They had worked out a promotional campaign to sell the energy drink through a leading convenience store chain beginning on June 1 with a highly competitive price tag of just NT$39. But they have already canceled the marketing plan following the recall ordered by the DOH, they said.