Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vietnam - 6 products of Coca-Cola Vietnam fail to meet labeling standards: health ministry

A man carries a crate of Coca-Cola bottles in Ho Chi Minh City.

A thorough probe by health officials in June found numerous violations at the Vietnamese business of U.S. drink maker Coca-Cola, the Ministry of Health said Monday.

Inspectors have found six product lines of Coca-Cola Vietnam failing to meet the labeling standards, related to product appearance, word sizes, and other product information. 

The health inspectors began looking into Coca-Cola Vietnam on June 21, as part of a plan to thoroughly check four major drink makers in the country.

The other three are URC, the maker of C2 bottled green tea and Rong Do (Red Dragon) energy drink; Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage; and Wonderfarm, known for such products as winter melon tea, passion fruit drink and bird nests.

Prior to the official announcement of the Coca-Cola Vietnam inspection results, the health inspectorate in late July penalized the soft drink maker nearly VND434 million (US$19,375) for many violations.

These included making 12 product lines of nutritional supplement drinks at its three plants in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the central city of Da Nang without permission or food safety certificates; and the sale of substandard products, which are the Samurai strawberry-flavored energy drink bottles whose content of vitamin B9, or folic acid, is lower than claimed.

The VND434 million fine levied on Coca-Cola Vietnam is the second-biggest civil penalty ever for a drink maker in the Southeast Asian country.

In May, the Ministry of Health imposed a VND5.8 billion ($259,144) financial penalty on URC Hanoi Co. Ltd. for excessive lead content in its C2 bottled green tea and Rong Do energy drink.

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