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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Today’s nice story with Ribena

GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement on Tuesday that concerns about vitamin C only affected some products in Australia and New Zealand.”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.

The statement became necessary after two New Zealand schoolgirls discovered, during a science project, that ready-to-drink Ribena contained no detectable level of vitamin C.

GlaxoSmithKline refused to answer a letter from the girls informing the company of their findings, and were also unresponsive to phone calls. According to The Guardian, the company are now in court in Aukland, facing 15 charges relating to misleading advertising, risking fines of up to NZ$3m (£1.1m).

First spotted in Petrona

2 Responses to “Today’s nice story with Ribena”

  1. Robert says:

    British children all drink Ribena for their health, presumably…

    jb says: Makes them big and strong, Robert. They used to give it to us in our bottles, when we were babes, see if our first teeth could withstand the attack of an acid bath.

  2. Barb says:

    Making a huge mistake like this with a product oriented at children has to make this one of the most serious cases of false marketing in history.

    Not only did it not contain Vitamin C, the product didn’t contain the fruit juice being advertised:

    “To their surprise, Ribena, a supposedly highly nutritional fruit drink made by UK-based GlaxoSmithKline, contained no vitamin C, although the product label stated “the blackcurrants in Ribena have four times the vitamin C of oranges.” Interestingly the students learned that not only was the drink void of vitamins, it did not contain any blackcurrants.”

    Hugely embarrassing and likely to be very costly.