So let me get this straight – it’s not that GlaxoSmithKline are a lying pack of bastards when it came to the vitamin C content of their sugar syrup Ribena, oh no no no – apparently it is because the vitamin C ‘floated away’ because it had been on shelves for ages. This claim has been rubbished by food scientists.
I’m still pissed they only got a $200 000 fine – if the maximum is a million, what would a product have to do to get the top fine? Lie about what is in their product? Well that’s what GSK did – a $200 000 fine to a $60 Billion company is a bullshit fine, and remember it was an incident that the Commerce Commission only took up because the two brilliant teenage girls who tripped GSK up had to go to Fair Go to get anyone to take them seriously.
If GSK lied about the so called health properties of their sugar syrup – how many other junk food advertisers are doing the same? I mean allowing billions to be spent convincing kids to eat fat is one thing, but lying about your fatty foods is just an insult too far.
Drink deficient only in Australasia, says GSK
The makers of Ribena have told UK customers the problems with the product in Australia and New Zealand came from leaving the bottles and cartons on shop shelves too long - a claim rubbished by food scientists. GlaxoSmithKline, which had a worldwide turnover of $61 billion in 2005, was fined $217,000 this week after pleading guilty to 15 breaches of the Fair Trading Act. Through its lawyer, Adam Ross, the company accepted Commerce Commission allegations that claims ready-to-drink Ribena contained 7mg of vitamin C per 100ml, or 44 per cent of the recommended daily intake, were incorrect. The commission's testing found that ready-to-drink Ribena contained no detectable vitamin C. After the court decision, a spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline in London told the Daily Telegraph that the problem arose when Ribena in Australia and New Zealand was left on shop shelves for too long, causing the vitamin C to degrade. There was no such problem with Ribena sold in Britain, she said. "Our testing equipment in New Zealand and Australia was not sensitive enough to pick up the fact that the vitamin C was degrading," she said. The company later issued a statement: "GSK has conducted thorough laboratory testing of vitamin C levels in Ribena in all other markets. This testing has confirmed that Ribena drinks in all other markets, including the UK, contain the stated levels of vitamin C, as described on product labels." Professor John Birkbeck, from Massey University's Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health, dismissed the spokeswoman's claims. "If they're properly sealed ... the vitamin C should be fairly stable. I'm not convinced by that argument at all. Anyhow, there's use-by dates on those things. If that is really the reason, and I seriously doubt that it is, then there's something wrong with the use-by date."