National Institute of Virology warns HUL of legal action on false claims for water purifier
Moneylife Digital Team 06 July 2011

Directs company to change TV commercial which says ‘Pureit’ can destroy one crore viruses in one litre of water and that this is confirmed by tests by NIV

Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) has warned Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) of legal action if it does not change the television commercial of its 'Pureit' water purifier. The advertisement is said to make unsubstantiated claims that it can destroy one crore virus in one litre of water.

In a letter to HUL dated 2 June 2011, A C Mishra, the director of NIV, explained the details of the tests conducted by the institute and said, "Your (HUL's) advertisements are not based on facts. You are requested to refrain from twisting and misrepresenting the facts. Failing to take immediate corrective measures may force us to resort to legal action against your company."

Moneylife had on 6 June 2011 reported the details of this case that were revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) query by Mumbai-based activist A R Shenoy. Pureit has been making the unsubstantiated claims through advertisements stating that the test results were backed by NIV, which tested eight domestic water purifiers using 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre of water.
 
According to the reply from NIV to the RTI application, the test was conducted on a sample of water of 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre and not one crore virus, as claimed by HUL. (Read, "How safe is your water purifier? HUL makes exaggerated claims")

 The report does not mention the names of any of the other water purifiers that were tested, apart from Pureit, which it says, removes 99.9% of virus particles using 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre of water, which is less than one million virus particles. Therefore, HUL took the liberty to twist the facts for its own benefit.

Subsequently, Mr Shenoy again evoked the RTI to find out from NIV whether there was any communication or official letter to HUL between April and early June 2011. In reply, to Mr Shenoy's query, NIV sent him a copy of the letter sent by its director, Mr Mishra, to HUL on 2nd June.

Speaking to Moneylife, Mr Shenoy said, "The letter is in agreement with my findings that the company is twisting the test reports for their own advantage." HUL has not answered an e-mail from Moneylife yet.

Comments
Sachin
1 decade ago
There are many low cholesterol oils in the market.

I am sure you must have heard of these oils too.

The fact is that no vegetable product has cholesterol and still companies advertise that their oils have lower cholesterol than other oils in the market.
Sachin Purohit
Replied to Sachin comment 1 decade ago
They are talking about the nature of cholestrol carriers in their oil. The formal medical terminologies are not understood by the masses. Vegetable oils don't have any cholestrol. So for vegetarians, the only cholestrol is the what the liver produces naturally. This cholestrol is transported to various parts of the body by lipoproteins. The low-density lipo-proteins (LDL) do not carry this cholestrol efficiently. HDL, on the other hand does it in a more clean way. Thus, you need more of HDL (called in common man's terms as Good Cholestrol) and less LDL (bad cholestrol). These two exist in foods that we eat - both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. The good oils (generally having higher proportion of unsaturated fats) have more of HDL and the bad oils (with more saturated fats) have more of LDL. Though they don't have any cholestrol of their own, in an ad consisting of less than a minute, you can't expect them to convey this entire scientific stuff to the target audience. So they just talk in terms of good cholestrol and bad. Don't be under the false assumption that vegetable products have no cholestrol and hence are heart-safe! They are not. You have to make a choice amongst the fats that you consume.
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