Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office was investigating claims by Coca-Cola and Nestle that their new drink can burn calories, saying it may amount to '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.
Ray Crockett, a Coca-Cola Co. spokesman, said the joint venture his company has with Nestle that conceived Enviga stands behind the claim that the product 'invigorates your metabolism to gently burn calories.'
'We've been clear that Enviga is not positioned as a weight loss product, but is designed to compliment, not replace regular exercise, a sensible diet and other healthy choices you make throughout the day,' Crockett said.
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.'
Nestle referred all calls for comment to Coca-Cola.
Enviga was being launched nationally this week following a rollout of the drink in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia in November.
A nonprofit watchdog group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, said it filed a federal lawsuit last week in New Jersey over Coke's Enviga claims.