‘Men’s coffee’ confiscated for containing erectile dysfunction drug

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Known locally as ‘kopi kejantanan’ or ‘male coffee’, the coffee mixed with erectile dysfunction drugs has 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 allegedly selling instant coffee mixed with a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Penny K. Lukito, the agency’s director, told local media that her team acted on advice from residents and tracked down the locations where the drug-containing coffee was produced. They found that the makers had been operating in two cities in West Java, Bandung and Bogor, since December 2019. Some packages were said to contain sildenafil (the generic name for Viagra), while others contained paracetamol, a common painkiller .

A total of 32 kilograms of raw materials containing traces of these drugs were confiscated during the February 22 raids, along with 5 kilograms of semi-finished coffee products still in production. They also seized capsule shells and various types of packaging materials such as aluminum foil. Most of the instant coffee packets, across six brands, featured fake government-approved logos.

Known locally as ‘kopi kejantanan’ or ‘male coffee’, the coffee mixed with erectile dysfunction drugs has been sold in Indonesia for at least a decade. According to the authorities, these coffee brands are readily available in online markets. Marketed as an herbal drink, they are popular among men who want to increase their libido. In 2011, the food and drug agency discovered that many of these instant coffee brands weren’t actually plant-based. She sampled 56 instant coffee products and found that 22 of them contained traces of erectile dysfunction drugs.

This recent police investigation revealed that sales of these illegal coffee products fetch around 7 billion Indonesian rupiah ($486,455) per month.

“We prohibit the use of 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 the proper dose.”

In some cases, taking sildenafil can lead to headaches, diarrhea, allergic reactions, irregular heartbeat, visual disturbances and even death.

The Indonesian Food and Drug Agency has identified two suspects who may have been involved in counterfeiting approval logos found on instant coffee packages. The suspects face a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 1.5 billion Indonesian rupiah ($104,265).

“Masculine coffee” is not only popular in Indonesia. A previous VICE report from 2018 revealed that Malaysian men also have a dangerous obsession with sildenafil coffee. In 2017, a Texas-based company recalled coffee containing a Viagra-like substance.

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