- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2006


France has banned sales of a hangover potion amid fears that it could encourage drunken driving.

A Telegraph report last week on the plant-extract product, Security Feel Better, created worldwide interest, and would-be suppliers asked to be put in touch with its French manufacturers, who say the drink eliminates alcohol from the blood up to six times faster than normal.

Despite concerns raised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Britain and other groups, negotiations are said to be proceeding with a potential British distributor.

French authorities ordered the product removed from supermarket shelves pending investigations. The government said it may bring court proceedings against the makers, PPN of Normandy, for deception and false advertising.

A similar case in 2000 ended in victory for PPN, which says it expects to sell a million bottles this year in Germany, Switzerland and South Korea, with deals pending in the United States, China and Britain.

“We will defend any action against us,” said Sophie Morgaut, a spokesman for PPN. “There has been a lot of stupid and misleading polemic, but this is a good product.

“We have made it no part of our campaign to tell people they can drink however much they want, take Security Feel Better and then drive. It is a hangover cure that makes you feel better. That’s all.”

The drink contains purified water, fructose, plant extracts, artichoke, Yunnan tea, ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate and pear flavoring.

PPN’s Web site says the product should work within 45 minutes to “prevent hangover and eliminate food and drinks quicker, especially alcohol,” and to ease feelings of excess after “a lunch or party.”

PPN says it does not conceal the alcohol in a person’s blood system, but “stimulates the various enzymatic systems that facilitate digestion.”

The drink is marketed as “completely harmless.” It is aimed at “anyone who finds they have to eat a copious or heavy, difficult-to-digest meal. The same applies to alcohol.”

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