Bolivian Coca Growers Want Coca-Cola To Drop The 'Coca.'

La Paz, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivia's coca growers are taking on an American soft-drink icon.

The farmers want the word "coca" dropped by Coca-Cola. They argue the potent shrub belongs to the cultural heritage of the Andean nation, where the coca leaf infuses everyday life and is sacred to many.

A commission of coca industry representatives, advising an assembly rewriting Bolivia's constitution, have passed a resolution calling on the beverage giant to take "coca" out of its name.

The commission is part of an effort led by President Evo Morales to rehabilitate the image of the plant. It's been used in the Andes for millennia but is better known internationally as the base ingredient of cocaine.

Coca-Cola released a statement saying their trademark is "the most valuable and recognized brand in the world" and is protected under Bolivian law.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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