GreenteaHawaii pays penalty

A WA company which promotes the health benefits of its green tea has agreed to remove unsubstantiated claims being made in the advertising and promotion of their product.

Following action by Consumer Protection, Panvalley Enterprises Pty Ltd of Ocean Reef has entered into an enforceable undertaking regarding claims being made about “greenteaHawaii”.

The undertaking requires the company to remove the following statements from its website (www.gthaustralia.com.au), packaging and any advertising or promotional material:

  • greenteaHawaii contains the antioxidant value of up to 45 cups of normal green tea;
  • each sachet has only ten calories and caffeine equal to half a can of diet coke;
  • this product is unique with a supercharge of antioxidants to fight the free radicals;
  • powdered drinks are the most effective delivery system to reap all of the health benefits from antioxidants, vitamins and minerals; and
  • powdered drinks allow you to reap 100% of the supplement you decide to take.

The company has also agreed as part of the undertaking to offer a full refund to any customer, with proof of purchase between January 2012 and 25 July 2014, who relied on the above statements when purchasing the product.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll emphasised the importance of accuracy in advertising when businesses promote their products and services to consumers.

“Consumers have a legal right to expect that any claims being made by the promoter of a particular product are accurate and can be proven,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), regulators can issue substantiation notices to any business that makes claims in the marketing of their product. The onus is on them to have credible and reliable information that reasonably supports their claims.

“Particularly in the area of health and weight loss products, businesses need to ensure that claims about their product have a scientific basis and are supported by proven facts.

“A statement may sound attractive to consumers, but it also needs to be backed up by evidence, otherwise the promoter may be breaching the false and misleading provisions of the ACL.”

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