A health-conscious mom and daughter say they purchased an expensive vitamin product at a Toronto Shoppers Drug Mart, only to find the bottle filled with dry penne pasta.
Anna Bauer-Ross says she bought the bottle of Greens+ capsules on Tuesday from the Shoppers at Spadina Road and Dupont Street for a total of $50.81.
When her daughter got home and opened the bottle, which was sealed, it was filled with pasta.
“She thought it was a joke,” she recalled.
Bauer-Ross headed back to the Shoppers the next day with her receipt and says the manager offered a full refund, or exchange. She accepted an exchange under the condition that she could open the bottle in the store. When she did, she says it was also filled with pasta.
The flummoxed store manager then snatched a third bottle off the shelf and popped the cap, only to find more dried penne. A fourth bottle yielded a similar result.
Bauer-Ross received a full refund, but still wants answers.
“It’s strange, very strange,” she added. “Something you don’t think is going to happen under a sealed bottle from a reputable chain of stores.”
In a statement, the company that makes Greens+, Genuine Health, said the vitamin bottles were tampered with after leaving their warehouse.
“We are aware of a few isolated incidents at Shoppers Drug Mart stores in the GTA where our product has been replaced with dry pasta and returned for store refunds,” the company said.
“We have confirmed that the substitution is happening after the product has been packed, sealed and shipped from our facilities, and believe a local consumer is doing this for free product. We have no evidence that would suggest there is any risk to product safety or public health. We are working closely with Shoppers to find the culprit.”
Shoppers Drug Mart, which is owned by Loblaw Companies Limited, acknowledges the tampering and is launching an investigation.
“We are aware of a few isolated incidents where vitamins have been replaced with pasta in a specific product line at certain Shoppers Drug Mart stores within the Greater Toronto Area,” the company said.
“We do not believe that there is any risk to our customers’ safety. We will be conducting a full investigation.”
For now, the product will remain on shelves.
“We believe this is very isolated, with only a few reported incidences, and as a result we don’t believe there is cause to remove the product from shelf at this time,” Shoppers said.