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Products Liability

Consumer Group Sues MillerCoors over Sparks Beverage

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Sep 10 2008 at 2:09 PM
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NEW YORK (AP) - A Washington-based consumer-advocacy group is suing MillerCoors LLC, second-largest U.S. beer maker, asking for removing the company’s Sparks beverage from the Washington, D.C., market.

The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest filed the suit in District of Columbia Superior Court, arguing that Sparks contains unapproved ingredients and poses health and safety risks for consumers.

MillerCoors, a joint undertaking of SABMiller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co., didn’t comment on the issue. However, MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green said that the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau had approved all formulas and labels for Sparks, Sparks Light and other versions of the drink.

“We have and we will continue to make sure that the labeling, marketing and product formulations of all our brands meet all applicable federal regulations and that our brands are marketed reliably to legal drinking age adults,” he said.

The suit came along with probes of Sparks’s marketing by different state attorneys general, who are worried about the drink’s appeal to minors.

The lawsuit accuses MillerCoors of negligently marketing Sparks to young consumers.

George A. Hacker, director of the center’s alcohol-policies project said that selling stimulants and alcohol to youngsters is a matter of concern.

“Mix alcohol and stimulants with a young person’s sense of invincibility and you have a recipe for disaster,” he said.

In a settlement in June, with 11 state attorneys general, no. 1 beer maker Anheuser-Busch Cos. had agreed to stop selling similar products. Anheuser-Busch Cos. is the main competitor of MillerCoors.


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