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Sunday 23rd October 2016

GlaxoSmithKline in court

27th March 2007

British pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline, has been fined for printing misleading information on its Ribena drink.

The company was taken to court in New Zealand after two teenagers found the drink contained hardly any vitamin C despite claims to the contrary on the pack.  GlaxoSmithKline, which produces the popular soft drink, pleaded guilty to making incorrect health claims and breaching fair trading laws.  The company blamed testing methods and incorrect labelling for the errors which resulted in a fine of over £80,000.

The ruling comes after GlaxoSmithKline claimed that the blackcurrants in Ribena syrup had four times the vitamin C of oranges.  However, after conducting tests in school science lessons, two teenage girls proved there was almost no trace of vitamin C in the drink which eventually came to the attention of a consumer watchdog in New Zealand who launched the legal action.

In a written statement the UK pharmaceutical giant said it was pleased the judge recognised its actions were not intentional and that it never meant to mislead its customers.  The company said it had made changes to its advertising, labelling and testing procedures since the court action was announced and added that, "Thorough laboratory testing has confirmed that vitamin C levels in the UK are as stated on the label.?

The blackcurrant flavoured soft-drink is a popular choice across the globe and is currently sold in 22 countries. 


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