Coenzyme Q10 – another one bites the dust…

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In October 2014, Mr. FENG bought 55 bottles of imported Coenzyme Q10 capsules valued at more than RMB 10,000 in one pharmacy store in Jianghan District, Wuhan City.

Mr. FENG then discovered that the recommended intake on such products exceeded the limites under PRC regulations, and sued the retailer.

Recently, the court of second instance made the judgment that the decision of the first instance shall be maintained and the pharmacy shall compensate about RMB 100,000 to the consumer.

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According to the Chinese label in product packaging, every capsule contains 50mg of Coenzyme Q10, with recommended consumtpion twice or three times daily for adult, one pill each time.

Afterwards, Mr. FENG found the Q10 content to exceed such limit, so he sued the pharmacy to the Jianghan court and demanded to return the RMB 10,000 he paid, as well as compensation of 10 times the product price.

In the first instance, the court acknowleged that according to the Notice of Relevant Regulations on Registration Declaration and Examination of Health Care Food with Coenzyme Q10, the recommended edible amount of Coenzyme Q10 should not exceed 50mg per day, however, the involved product recommends an intake up to 100mg-150mg per day.

Thus, according to Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China, the first instance court decided the pharmacy to return about RMB 10,000 to FENG and to pay compensation of 10 times the product price (i.e. RMB 100,000).

The pharmacy was dissatisfied with the decision made by the first instance court, and filed an appeal to the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court in June, 2016 and requested to cancel the decision made by the first instance court, however, the decision made by the second instance court was to maintain the original judgment.

Co-enzyme Q10 is widely popular between Chinese consumers; however, its nature of functional food with ingredient included in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (see, for example, a more detailed article at http://www.rivistadirittoalimentare.it/rivista/2016-01/APORTI.pdf) has raised several disputed between consumers and retailers in China.

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