GlaxoSmithKline, the second-largest food and drug company in the world, was yesterday fined $217,500 in the Auckland District Court after it admitted 15 breaches of the Fair Trading Act.
The case was brought by the Commerce Commission after a science experiment in 2004 by 14-year-old Pakuranga College schoolgirls Jenny Suo and Anna Devathasan raised questions about the vitamin C content in Ribena.
OK, the wheels of justice grind slowly and less than 300 grand of anyone's
dollars isn't going to make GlaxoSmithKline do anything it doesn't want to do already. The point is that two kids caught a company in a lie, made it stick through science, and now a penalty is being enforced. What's more, we all know about it. GlaxoSmithKline isn't going to keep any of this quiet or make it just a local story.
More education should focus around students supporting or refuting hypotheses based on evidence and arguments. Stories like these ought to be much more common.