Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Liebenagate - The excuse!

I've heard some lame ass excuses in my time but GSK's latest really takes the biscuit!

Someone remind me.... It's April the 1st tomorrow isn't it?


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."

As a rule of thumb, nutrient levels in products had to be within 10 per cent of the level on the nutrition content label.

Dr Carolyn Lister, from Crop & Food Research, said the accuracy of the nutrient labels could vary.

"A good company will use a value on the label that is at the end of the shelf life. If you buy a batch that's fresh, you might actually get a level that's a bit higher than stated."

She said vitamin C was one of the more easily destroyed vitamins.


MEMORABLE GSK QUOTES

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."


Now correct me if I'm wrong... please do, because I am totally dumbfounded at the response of GSK. Do they think the public are completely devoid of any intelligence?

Are we, the UK consumer, expected to believe that cartons of ribena can lose their vitamin C if left on the shelf too long? Not only that but this can only happen in New Zealand or Australia?

This pathetic attempt at covering up the truth is a classic GSK trait.

You lied - end of story

Wonder if the MHRA would be interested to learn of GSK's stance on ribena in the UK?

Be great if one of the regulars readers on here could contact them and ask them to comment.

What's the betting that the answer the MHRA will give you will be one of the following:

1. We are confident that GSK's statement about cartons of ribena is not misleading.

2. This is a matter that is currently under investigation

3. Under the exemption rule we are not obliged to answer your query.

Transparent? About as transparent as the colour of ribena!

Bob
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