Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A woman who splashed out on posh Swiss herbal throat lozenges because she thought they were better quality is suing the manufacturer for USD 5 million.
The plaintiff – from Illinois, USA – claims she was misled into thinking that the sweets were better than home-grown cough sweets.
Now makers Ricola are facing accusations of lying about the effectiveness of the Swiss herbs in their sweets.
Because the packs are marked prominently ‘Made with Swiss Alpine Herbs’ they raise expectations that the herbs are responsible for a healing effect, she claims.
In fact, the woman argues, menthol is the only active substance for easing sore throats in the sweets.
The plaintiff reportedly sees this as a deliberate deception of consumers with the intention of being able to demand a higher price for the sweets compared to American products.
Ricola did not want to comment and would only say: “At all times all regulations have been correctly complied with.”
In the case of Ricola, the application compares the Swiss company’s neck candy packs with those of US manufacturers.
This shows that the American products highlight menthol as an active substance on the package, while Ricola depicts the Swiss Alpine herbs and declares menthol only on the back as an active substance.
The Alpine herbs would be explicitly listed as non-active substances in the product information. The menthol content is the same for all manufacturers.
The applicant claims that she would have bought cheaper US sweets if she had known about the lack of effect of Swiss herbs.