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Innocent Smoothies Guilty of False Green-Transport Claims?

Aug. 4, 2008 - Innocent Smoothies, a British beverage company that claims to ship its product solely via boat or rail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been trucking its fruit drinks hundreds of miles across continental Europe, according to an investigative report from the Daily Telegraph.

The report accuses the successful juice company, which sells 2 million smoothies a week in the U.K., of making false claims about its environmental responsibility.

On its website Innocent Smoothies claims its drinks are "made in the countryside, " when in fact it has been revealed that the drinks are made in the Netherlands and driven across Europe.

Critics are saying the misinformation is a deliberate attempt to attract unknowing customers willing to pay a premium for eco-friendlier products.

"We are drowning in a sea of corporate greenwash. Even companies which are supposed to have the highest ethical standards are at it now and the major problem is that it encourages consumers to believe they do not have to make the changes that are necessary to combat global warming," says Sam Chase, of the environmental campaign group Rising Tide.

Innocent Smoothies says it is simply a case of the company not updating its website, and that the misleading statements will be removed promptly.

Better sooner than later. British consumers are keeping a watchful eye on companies' green claims, and the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority has been particularly active in policing greenwashers, recently handing down rulings against Fiat, and EasyJet, and Shell, to name a few.


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