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Consumer groups hand out 'worst product' awards

Date: 29 Oct 2007

An international gathering of 220 consumer organisations has attacked a number of products for being socially irresponsible, with top prize going to sleeping pills marketed as beng targeted at children.

The World's Worst Products Awards, part of the Consumers International Conference, were aimed according to the organisers at highlighting failing of corporate responsibility and abuse of customer trust.

The sleeping pills, produced by Japanese firm Takeda Pharmaceuticals, are marketed in the US under the slogan "back to school". The advertising does not, however, mention the health warnings that "further study is needed prior to determining that this product may be used safely in pre-pubescent and pubescent patients".

Other companies criticised were Coca-Cola for its Dasani bottled water (campaigners said it was nothing more than tap water), Kellogg's for cartoon character promotions and tie-ins and Mattel for what was described as 'stonewalling' investigations into recent problems of lead-based paint on its products.

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