CHOICE Refers Shonky Award Winners to the ACCC

Consumer group CHOICE has referred Coles Complete Cuisine cat food and Nature’s Way (Pharmacare) Kidsmart Vita Gummies to the ACCC for alleged breaches of Australian Consumer Law after they were named and shamed at the 12th annual CHOICE Shonky Awards.

“Whether it’s making dodgy claims about the nutritional profile of cat food or claiming sugar laden vitamins are good for kids’ teeth – these companies are on notice,” says CHOICE Head of Media, Tom Godfrey.

CHOICE’s assessment of the labelling on Coles Complete Cuisine cat food is that it would likely trick consumers into believing the product was a “complete” cat food when it fact the fine print reveals the opposite.

“Pet foods labelled ‘complete’ are designed to provide a balanced diet for your dog or cat and meet the recommended nutritive requirements outlined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials,” Mr Godfrey says.

“Although Coles reveals the product is in fact ‘not nutritionally complete’ in the fine print on the back of the tin, we allege consumers who rely on the large ‘complete’ claim on the front of pack to feed their pet are likely to be misled. We have referred the product to the regulator and want to see it pulled from the shelves.”

CHOICE has also referred Nature’s Way (Pharmacare) Kids Smart Vita Gummies to the ACCC for potentially misleading consumers about the supplement’s health benefits for children, failing to indicate the amount of sugar in each serving, and not providing warnings about the risk of overconsumption.

“Featured on TV and attracting a celebrity endorsement, Nature’s Way uses colourful cartoon characters to shout the health benefits of sugar-filled Vita Gummies to children,” says Mr Godfrey.

“It’s a bit rich that this product claims on the front of pack to be good for teeth, when it is little more than a sugary treat which could cause tooth decay.

“We would like to see the claims that the product supports maintenance of health teeth removed, the amount of sugar clearly stated on the pack along with clear warning labels to parents about any potential risks of overconsumption.

“Whether is purchasing pet food or vitamins, consumers need to be able to trust the claims companies make about their products.” Mr Godfrey says.

The other six 2017 Shonky Award recipients are:

  • Westpac’s Bump Savings account
  • Viagogo
  • Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda – Takata airbags
  • Cuddly Sensitive Hypoallergenic Fabric Softener
  • Pain Erazor
  • Samsung Washer Dryer Combo

The full report on the 2017 Shonky winners can be found here: