Turns out, Chuck Schumer most certainly isn't going ayo for that chocolate yayo.
Over the weekend, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer sent a letter to the FDA asking that the agency begin to investigate Coco Loko, a "snortable chocolate" powder that the Democrat says is being inappropriately marketed as a drug and raises serious questions about potential health effects.
In a statement released by the senator's office, Schumer said that "The math for the FDA is clear: This suspect product has no clear health value. It is falsely held up to be chocolate, when it is a powerful stimulant. And they market it like a drug—and they tell users to take it like a drug, by snorting it. It is crystal clear that the FDA needs to wake up and launch a formal investigation into so-called Coco Loko before too many of our young people are damaged by it."
Sounds like Schumer's aides aren't going to be doing any Coco bumps anytime soon.
Marketed as "infused raw cacao snuff," Coco Loko is a caffeinated cacao powder that has been making headlines in recent weeks for claiming to provide users with an endorphin and serotonin rush. The creator of Coco Loko, 29-year-old Nick Anderson, says that snorting the powder will give users "almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you're euphoric but also motivated to get things done." Coco Loko is manufactured and sold through the Florida-based Legal Lean Co, which also happens to sell a drug-free version of codeine cough syrup, popularly known as "lean." Legal Lean's website says that Coco Loko offers users a "motivation that is great for partygoers to dance the night away without a crash."
READ MORE: Who Wants to Do Chocolate Key Bumps?
Anderson told the Washington Post that he came up with the idea for Coco Loko after he heard about a "chocolate-snorting trend" in Europe and decided to try it out himself. Snortable Belgian chocolate has actually been on the market as far back as 2008—for a price. "At first, I was like, 'Is this a hoax?' And then I tried it and it was like, OK, this is the future right here." While Anderson admits that the product hasn't been approved by the FDA and was made without consulting any medical professionals, he believes Coco Loko is totally safe for snorting.
Schumer isn't buying it. The politician wrote to the FDA, "I can't think of a single parent who thinks it is a good idea for their children to be snorting over-the-counter stimulants up their noses." Schumer even went so far as say, "This product is like cocaine on training wheels."
MUNCHIES has reached out to Legal Lean for comment, but has yet to hear back. Before Schumer's letter to the FDA was released this Saturday, Anderson went on ABC's Good Morning America and stated that he wasn't too concerned about the negative publicity. "There's really no negative publicity, so I felt we're good to go."
A spokesperson for the FDA told MUNCHIES the following: "The FDA is not prepared to issue a determination regarding whether and how this product is subject to FDA jurisdiction at this time. In reaching that decision, FDA will need to evaluate the product labelling, marketing information, and/or any other information pertaining to the product's intended use."
This is by no means the first time that Schumer has taken aim at caffeinated novelty foods. In 2015, he called for an investigation of caffeinated peanut butter. Schumer seems to want Coco Loco to be subject to at least the the same regulatory control as Palcohol—yes, powdered alcohol—a substance which many states are now regulating or banning.
Seems like anybody looking to get their fix of what is quite likely the closest thing to literal nose candy might just want to get moving ASAP.