Vegwash+: Chemical to clean vegetables and fruits

While introducing a new product in the market, manufacturers often go overboard in making exaggerated claims to catch the public eye. Take for instance the advertisement of ‘Vegwash+’ published in the Times of India, Ahmedabad, of 6 June 2014. The Pune based company Autodynamics Engineering Pvt. Ltd. claimed that Vegwash+ has five amazing benefits – it washes off pesticides, germs and bacteria, dirt and dust, chemicals and waxes and preservatives.

However, there was a catch. A cautionary note said it should be used externally only on uncut, non-porous fruit and vegetable surfaces. We objected to the ad on the grounds that the skin of all fruits and vegetables has pores. Also, even if pesticides, chemicals and preservatives from the surface can be removed with Vegwash+ as claimed, they would have penetrated the skin/surface. How useful then would Vegwash+ be?

We also had other misgivings. Did the product have any side effects? How safe was it?. Did the fruit/vegetable have to be washed again before consumption? We sent our objections to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) asking it to look into the matter. ASCI upheld the complaint. It felt mentioning that Vegwash+ had to be used only on uncut, non-porous fruit and vegetable surfaces was misleading. Moreover, the claims ‘100% Food Grade Ingredients’, ‘layer protection from germs & bacteria, pesticides, dirt & dust, chemicals, waxes and preservatives’, were not adequately substantiated.

Vegwash or eyewash?

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