China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has banned the sale of a fruit punch in packaging designed to look like a medical blood bag, citing food safety concerns and dubious ethics.
Sold until now online and in C-stores, the drinks are seemingly inspired by US movies such as The Vampire Diaries and Twilight, and had names like Vampire Diaries Drink, Imitation Blood Plasma.
But on July 15 the CFDA sank its teeth into the sub-sector, insisting that many of the drinks do not meet food product requirements for labelling, production license numbers and manufacturing dates.
The CFDA said in a statement that using such “unqualified products” as a marketing tactic to snare thrill-seekers “runs counter to basic principles of sincerity and ethics in society, violates national laws and regulations, [and] misleads consumers”.
More damningly, the drinks hurt teens mental and physical health, the watchdog said, ordering vendors to stop selling the beverages and warning of fines in the event of non compliance.
The novelty drinks are clearly something of a craze in China, and The Shanghaiist reported earlier this month that a restaurant in Benxi, Northeast China was serving drinks in blood bags, with staff dressed as doctors and nurses.
Reportedly, the drinks are even served in a brick-walled room meant to resemble a cellar decorated with coffins and books about vampires, with vampire-themed background music.