(NaturalNews) The clear distinction between what defines a food versus a drug appears to be blurring, as beverage giant Coca-Cola has announced that it is teaming up with French drug maker Sanofi to release a new beauty-enhancing drink line known as "Beautific Oenobiol." According to reports, the nutritional product will initially be sold only in a handful of French pharmacies, with the potential to later be sold in stores and other retail outlets.
The 50-50 partnership between the two companies is part of a mutual diversification effort designed to increase the companies' market shares. Coca-Cola says it is trying to venture out of producing just soft drinks, particularly as obesity rates rise and people seek out healthier alternatives to soda. Likewise, Sanofi is desperately searching for new market options as the company struggles to produce new "blockbuster" drugs to replace other drugs that have since gone off patent.
Together, the two companies apparently hope to break into the supplement market with the new beverages, which will contain a blend of mineral water, fruit juices, and unidentified nutrition additives that will be branded as helping to strengthen hair and nails, firm skin, promote weight loss, and boost energy levels. This new drink product from Oenobiol, which Sanofi purchased back in 2009, is one of many in a long line of emerging "foods with medical benefits," a product category that typically runs into various regulatory roadblocks.
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still holds a militant bias against natural foods that are marketed with legitimate, scientifically-backed health claims, it is unclear how the agency will treat the new product should it ever arrive in the U.S., assuming, of course, that the product is even made with legitimately healthy ingredients. Perhaps this is why Coca-Cola and Sanofi are launching the product only in pharmacies as if it was a drug rather than a food.
France, of course, is part of the European Union (EU), which means it is subject to even more oppressive restrictions on herbal supplements that were implemented back in 2011. Such restrictions are based on various provisions outlined in the Codex Alimentarius world food code, which basically treats natural herbs and supplements as if they are pharmaceutical drugs. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030873_EU_directive_medicinal_herbs.html)
"This is a small-scale pilot which is currently limited to a number of pharmacies in France," said spokesman Kent Landers about the new drinks. Landers refused to comment; however, on whether or not the "beauty" drink would ever be sold elsewhere.