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“5小时能量”饮料制造商捣毁大型制假网络

“5小时能量”饮料制造商捣毁大型制假网络

Allan Dodds Frank 2012年11月21日
能量饮料制造商Living Essentials因涉嫌与13起死亡报告有关,正在接受调查。而最近,据法庭文件显示,该公司查封了约200万瓶假冒产品。据查,假冒产品的源头在圣地亚哥,销往美国。

    “5小时能量”饮料制造商因其产品安全问题正在接受调查。最近,该公司发现并关闭了一个非法制假网络,经由该网络,流入美国的假冒高咖啡因能量饮料达数百万瓶。

    通过在美国的100,000多个零售网点,Living Essentials每周直销正品“5小时能量”饮料超过900万瓶。上周,《纽约时报》(New York Times)报道称,美国食品与药品管理局(U.S. Food and Drug Administration)正在调查过去四年里的13起死亡报告。据称,这13起报告均与“5小时能量”饮料有关。但该公司依然坚称,它的产品对人体没有任何危害。

    周一公开的法庭文件披露,去年十月底,在由美国纽约布鲁克林地区法官松本纪代和加州旧金山地区法官威廉·阿尔索普授权的秘密搜查行动中,该公司共查获超过180万瓶假冒产品。该公司声称,其年销售额超过10亿美元。

    除了声称假冒产品“具有潜在危险”之外,Living Essentials提交的法庭文件中并未提及假冒产品可能带来的健康危害。被查获的假冒产品共有三种口味:莓果味、莓果味加强型和橙味。这种饮料的售价为每瓶2至4美元,通常按打出售。假冒产品盗用了正品上的批号。

    公司在请求进行搜查的授权时称:“Living Essentials公司对于与假冒产品相关的严重不良后果尚不清楚。但Living Essentials公司无法保证假冒产品的安全性或纯度。假冒产品由未知的不法分子制造……”

    公司没有立即做出评论,但根据Living Essentials公司律师、来自帕特森,贝尔纳普,韦布和泰勒律师事务所(Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler)的杰弗里·波特的陈述,假冒产品的源头是位于圣地亚哥的一家工厂。搜查人员于上周四对该工厂进行了搜查。【最新消息:在向《财富》杂志(Fortune)发布的一份声明中,“5小时饮料”总裁斯科特·亨德森称:“不法分子肆意欺骗我们忠诚、勤勉的客户,并从中牟利,这令我们非常愤怒,因为这些客户相信我们能够为他们提供高质量的产品和全球最优秀的能量饮料。”此外,这份新闻稿还指导消费者如何识别假冒产品。】

    Already under scrutiny about the safety of its products, the manufacturer of 5-Hour Energy drinks has uncovered and is shutting down an illegal counterfeiting network that flooded the nation with millions of bottles of fake versions of the high caffeine energy drink.

    Every week, Living Essentials sells more than nine million genuine bottles of the over-the-counter 5-Hour Energy drinks through more than 100,000 retail outlets in the United States. The company insists its products are not harmful, although the New York Times reported last week that 13 deaths in the last four years, allegedly linked to the drink, are being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    Court documents unsealed Monday reveal that the company, which says its sales are more than $1 billion a year, has seized more than 1.8 million bottles of counterfeit products during raids secretly authorized in late October by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn, N.Y. and U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, Calif.

    Except to call the fakes "potentially dangerous," the court papers filed by Living Essentials make no mention of possible health hazards from the counterfeit versions, which were discovered in three flavors: Berry, extra strength Berry and Orange. The drinks sell for $2 to $4 a bottle and are often sold in 12-packs. The counterfeiters used lot numbers found on real products.

    In its request for authorization to conduct the raids, the company said: "Living Essentials is not aware of serious adverse consequences associated with the counterfeits. However, Living Essentials cannot vouch for their safety or purity. The counterfeits have been manufactured by unknown criminals..."

    The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but according to the complaints filed by Geoffrey Potter, of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, the attorney for Living Essentials, the fake products were traced back to a San Diego factory, which was raided last Thursday. [Update: In a statement released to Fortune, Scott Henderson, president of 5-hour Energy, said: "We are extremely upset that a group of alleged criminals preyed upon and profited from the loyal, hardworking customers who have come to rely on us to provide them with a high-quality product and the world's leading energy shot." This press release tells customers how to identify counterfeits.]

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