Tuesday February 27, 2024

Food firms fined for marketing tea whiteners as milk

By our correspondents
January 24, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has imposed fines of Rs62.29 million on Engro Foods Limited (EFL), Rs2 million on Noon Pakistan Limited (NPL), and Rs500,000 on Shakarganj Foods Products Limited (SFP) for violating Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010, a statement said on Monday.

“The order disposed off the show-cause notices issued to these companies after an inquiry, conducted by the CCP, found the aforementioned companies were prima facie deceiving consumers by marketing and selling tea whiteners and dairy drinks including SFPL’s product Qudrat (liquid tea whitener) NPL’s product Dairy Rozana (dairy drink) and EFL’s product Dairy Omung (dairy drink) as milk” the statement said.  According to the statement, the order found the EFL in its marketing campaign for its product Dairy Omung, particularly the television commercial, gave the net impression that Omung is milk and not a dairy drink, while the company’s website termed Omung as an alternate to milk thereby deceiving the unsuspecting consumers.

“The order further noted that the packaging and labelling of NPL’s product Dairy Rozana gave a general net impression that the product is milk and not a dairy drink, thus deceiving the consumers about the product,” the statement said.  Regarding SFPL s product Qudrat, the order found that the labelling on the packaging was deceptive in the absence of a proper and sufficient disclosure about the product, it added.

“CCP’s order states that when material information pertaining to products or services is inaccurate or incomplete it’s likely to mislead consumers and affect competitors in violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act,” the CCP handout stated.

Penalties have been imposed on the companies relative to the severity of the violations and their likely impact on competition in the market, it said adding furthermore the companies have been warned not to violate the provisions of competition law in the future.  The order was passed by a bench comprising commission’s chairperson Vadiyya Khalil and members Dr. Shahzad Ansar and Ikram UlHaq Qureshi.