7up The beverage has been pulled from shelves after evidence of contamination.

Meth-laced soft drink triggers travel alert

One man died after drinking 7Up contaminated with methamphetamine

United States citizens have already been warned about tainted alcohol in Mexico. This week, a soft drink is the subject of a new warning.


Health professionals in Arizona issued the warning after one person died and as many as nine others became ill in Mexicali, Baja California, after drinking 7Up that was later found to contain methamphetamine.

José María Soto was admitted to a hospital in Mexicali last Sunday with nausea and stomach pain. He died shortly after.

His family said the symptoms had appeared after Soto drank 7Up from a two-liter bottle. A health official said Soto’s urine tested positive for methamphetamine.

El Universal reported that all the victims had purchased the beverage at a store in the Mexicali Valley.

Authorities have since seized 77,000 containers of 7Up in various sizes and asked stores to suspend sales of the product.


The newspaper Reforma reported that it was not the first time methamphetamine had appeared in soft drinks in the region, and that authorities have suspected that the beverages are being used to smuggle the drug across the border into the United States.

A spokesman for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, which distributes 7Up in the United States, told the Arizona Republic that none of its products had been contaminated.

A doctor with Banner Health, a health care service provider, warned travelers to be cautious. “It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and shows no signs of tampering,” said Daniel Brooks.

Some side effects of drinking contaminated sodas are burning of the esophagus and stomach, vomiting and a fast or irregular heartbeat, according to Banner Health.

The U.S. State Department issued an alert in July to warn travelers in Mexico about the possibility of tainted alcohol after many reports of people becoming ill at some all-inclusive resorts. One death has been reported.

Source: Reforma (sp), El Universal (sp), Arizona Republic (en)

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  • Greg Gallacci

    I don’t buy it.
    Meth is incredibly bitter on the tongue, nothing could mask the distinctive taste.
    The amount you would need to swallow to be deadly would have many people vomiting!

    To die from a meth laced non-alcoholic beverage would take a lot of work!
    Maybe this is an urban legend, cooked up by tourists as cover for playing with drugs while on vacation.
    If your UA at work is dirty, blame it on the Mexican soda you drank while on vacation…

    • Chaz Miller

      Thank you for this note of sanity. Reading this article had me thinking the same thing… a truly lame excuse for testing positive… blame it on a soft drink from Mexico.

  • David Nichols

    Let me get this straight…So this Mexican dies in a hospital, his urine tests positive for Meth, the allegation is that the Meth got into his body by drinking from a two liter bottle of 7-Up at a family event.
    But nobody else got sick, and nobody thought to have the two liter bottle tested…??
    My Bullshit-O-Meter is pegged on 10…!!

  • “United States citizens”? We are Americans. Not United Statesers.
    Don’t like it? How many people with Mexican citizenship are actually Mexican?