Author Topic: Food and Drink Scandals  (Read 483 times)

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Online Taman Tun

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Food and Drink Scandals
« on: February 28, 2013, 02:35:14 AM »
The world has been rocked by a couple of recent scandals relating to the use of horsemeat in burgers and also the possible dubious sources of meat in Thailand. However the latest scandal, to my mind, is the greatest of them all.  This article is from The Guardian:-

Tears for beers: Anheuser-Busch accused of watering down US brews

The world's largest brewer has been accused of watering down beers in the US, including Budweiser and Michelob, in class-action lawsuits that seek millions of dollars in damages.
The suits, which have been filed against Anheuser-Busch in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on labels. Budweiser and Michelob each advertise a 5% alcohol content; some "light" versions are said to be just over 4%. The lawsuits are based on information from former employees at the company's 13 US breweries, some in high-level plant positions, according to lead lawyer Josh Boxer of San Rafael, California.
"Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned [in the lawsuit] are watered down," Boxer said. "It's a simple cost-saving measure, and it's very significant."
The excess water is added just before bottling and cuts the stated alcohol content by 3% to 8%, Boxer said.
Anheuser-Busch InBev called the claims "groundless" and said its beers fully complied with labeling laws. "Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws. We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the US and the world," Peter Kraemer, vice-president of brewing and supply, said in a statement.
The suit involves 10 Anheuser-Busch products: Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime.
Anheuser-Busch, which is based in St Louis, Missouri, merged with InBev in 2008 to form the world's largest alcohol producer, headquartered in Belgium. In 2011, the company produced 10bn gallons (37.85bn liters) of malt beverages, 3bn (11.36bn liters) of them in the US, and reported $22bn in profits from that category, the lawsuit said. According to the lawsuit, the company has sophisticated equipment that measures the alcohol content throughout the brewing process and is accurate to within one-hundredth of a per cent. The lawsuit alleges that after the merger, the company increasingly chose to dilute its popular brands of beer.
"Following the merger, AB vigorously accelerated the deceptive practices described below, sacrificing the quality products once produced by Anheuser-Busch in order to reduce costs," said the lead lawsuit, which was filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of consumers. Companion suits are being filed this week in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and elsewhere. Each seeks at least $5m in damages.
The named Pennsylvania plaintiffs, Thomas and Gerald Greenberg of Ambler, said they buy six cases of the affected Anheuser-Busch products a month. They did not immediately return a message Tuesday, and Boxer would not elaborate on their purchases except to say the consumer-protection suit did not involve retailers or bar owners. One of the California plaintiffs, Nina Giampaoli of Sonoma County, said she had bought a six-pack of Budweiser every week for the past four years.
"I think it's wrong for huge corporations to lie to their loyal customers. I really feel cheated. No matter what the product is, people should be able to rely on the information companies put on their labels," Giampaoli said in a news release issued by Boxer's law firm.
In a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Boxer said he had evidence to corroborate the former employees' allegations, but stopped short of saying the beers had been independently tested.
"AB [Anheuser-Busch] never intends for the malt beverage to possess the amount of alcohol that is stated on the label. As a result, AB's customers are overcharged for watered-down beer and AB is unjustly enriched by the additional volume it can sell," the lawsuit said.

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