Known locally as “kopi kejantanan” or “male coffee,” coffee laced with erectile dysfunction drugs have been sold in Indonesia for at least a decade. Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo: Andrew Neel, Unsplash
On Sunday, Indonesia’s food and drug agency busted local businesses that allegedly sold instant coffee mixed with a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Penny K. Lukito, the head of the agency, told local media that her team acted on tips from residents and tracked down locations where the drug-laced coffee was produced. They found out that the manufacturers had been operating in two West Java cities, Bandung and Bogor, since December 2019. Some packets reportedly contained sildenafil (the generic name for Viagra), while others contained the common painkiller paracetamol.
A total of 32 kilograms of raw materials containing traces of these drugs were confiscated during raids on Feb. 22, along with 5 kilograms of semi-finished coffee products still in the middle of production. They also seized capsule shells and various types of packaging materials like aluminum foil. Most of the instant coffee packets, across six brands, sported fake government approval logos.
Known locally as “kopi kejantanan” or “male coffee,” coffee laced with erectile dysfunction drugs have been sold in Indonesia for at least a decade. According to authorities, these coffee brands are readily available in online marketplaces. Marketed as an herbal drink, they’re popular among men who want to increase their sex drive. In 2011, the food and drug agency found that many of these instant coffee brands aren’t actually herbal—they conducted a sampling of 56 instant coffee products and found 22 of them contained traces of erectile dysfunction drugs.
This recent police investigation revealed that sales of these illegal coffee products rake in about 7 billion Indonesian rupiah ($486,455) per month.
“We prohibit the use of medicinal drugs as ingredients for processed foods and traditional medicines,” Lukito said, according to local reports. “There are negative health effects if the drugs are taken without a proper dose.”
In some cases, taking sildenafil may result in headache, diarrhea, allergic reactions, irregular heartbeat, visual disturbance, and even death.
Indonesia’s food and drug agency has identified two suspects allegedly involved in forging the approval logos found on the instant coffee packets. The suspects are likely to face a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 1.5 billion Indonesian Rupiah ($104,265).
“Male coffee” is not just popular in Indonesia. A previous VICE report from 2018 found that Malaysian men also have a dangerous obsession with sildenafil-laced coffee. In 2017, a Texas-based company recalled coffee that contained a Viagra-like substance.
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