Opinion: Vermont Gas guilty of false advertising
VerMints has been sued. From 2006 to 2011, VerMints claimed on its tins that the mints were “Vermont’s All-Natural Mints.” The tin currently says, “VerMints Organic Mints Absolutely First-Rate.” On the back of the tin, it now says, “Distributed by VerMints Inc., Braintree, MA 02184.” VerMints agreed to pay a $30,000 fine to the state and make a $35,000 donation to the Vermont Foodbank. For, at least, 18 months, VerMints will clearly label the front of the tins sold in the Northeast with the words, “Produced in Canada.” Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell recently said, “We need to ensure that consumers who care about where their food comes from, get accurate information. … Use of the term ‘Vermont’ has great economic value and many businesses go to the expense of sourcing their ingredients and processing within the state in order to market their products as Vermont products” (Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, Jan. 14, 2014).
What privileges does Vermont Gas have?
Why is Vermont Gas allowed to use Vermont in its company’s name? The gas comes from Alberta, Canada. Gaz Métro of Montreal owns Northern New England Energy Corp., which owns Vermont Gas.
In the Seven Days issue Jan. 22 to Jan. 29, 2014, section C-18, Vermont Gas advertised itself as “environmentally friendly” with the words, CLEAN ENERGY CLEAN AIR under the V with the flame. Yes, I know that natural gas burns cleaner than petroleum, fuel oil. I also know that this fracked gas has traveled from Alberta, Canada. There in Alberta, Canada, the fracked gas industry has left behind polluted water, at the very least. That polluted water is NOT clean.
When gas leaks at the well sites, in Canada, and at accidents here in Vermont, the methane released does NOT make our air clean. The advertisement attempts to recruit workers with this statement, “At Vermont Gas, we have a sense of pride as Vermont’s only provider of environmentally friendly natural gas.” To me, that statement is very misleading. Who or what provides that natural gas? The families in Canada whose water and land have become polluted, whose family members have become ill, whose cattle have died, have a right to deny the truth of the “environmentally friendly” adjectives. Is Vermont Gas proud of causing so much pain and suffering?
“Natural gas” is not natural. Fresh air, clean water and wholesome earth are natural.
I like to eat ginger mints made by the VerMints company. They help my digestion.
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