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Commission Alleges Zoono’s 24 Hour And 30 Day Germ Killing Claims Not Backed-up

The Commerce Commission has filed charges against Zoono Limited (Zoono), alleging it made unsubstantiated representations about the performance of its hand and surface sanitiser products.

The Commission alleges that between July 2019 to August 2023 Zoono made various claims about its products, for example that Zoono hand sanitiser would protect users against 99.9% or 99.99% of germs, including salmonella, for up to and for 24 hours, and the Zoono Microbe Shield surface would kill 99.9% or 99.99% of germs for up to and for 30 days.

The Commission is alleging that testing obtained by Zoono did not back up claims it made about how long the products would last and be effective in real world conditions, and Zoono had not tested the hand sanitiser against salmonella at the time the claim was made. Therefore, the Commission alleges Zoono did not, at the time, have reasonable grounds to make these claims.

Fair Trading General Manager, Kirsten Mannix, says businesses must back up the claims they make about their products, particularly claims consumers can’t easily test themselves.

"Businesses must have sufficiently credible information to support the claims they make, when they make them,” Ms Mannix says.

“Where businesses make claims about a product’s performance in the real world, they must have evidence that supports the claim in its entirety, including to support the product’s performance when put to everyday use as intended.”

Only the courts can decide if there has been a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

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As the case is before the courts, the Commission will not be commenting further at this time.

Zoono manufactures and distributes sanitising products throughout New Zealand and internationally. Its main products are Microbe Shield surface spray, and the hand sanitiser.

The alleged breach is of section 12A of the Fair Trading Act 1986, which states that a person must not make unsubstantiated representations in connection with the supply of goods or services. A representation is unsubstantiated if the trader does not, when the representation is made, have reasonable grounds for making it.

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