BLUE ISLAND, Ill., Jan 19, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- V-Net Beverage, Inc. (Other OTC:VNTB.PK) is launching a nationwide "Truth in Ginseng" campaign. The purpose is threefold: to urge industry-wide full-disclosure in ginseng labeling, to support stringent testing and authentication of ginseng products, and to educate consumers about beverages proclaiming "ginseng" on the bottle or can.
As Robert Corr, president of V-Net put it, "It's been 27 years since I created the first ginseng soft-drink of modern times and rekindled nationwide interest in this extraordinary herb. Nowadays, store shelves are laden with drinks, such as Coca-Cola's Full Throttle(TM), PepsiCo's SoBe(TM) line, Anheuser Busch's B-E(TM) and others that denote "ginseng" on their labels. The questions remain: how much and what type of ginseng root do these beverages contain, of what potency and where grown? After two decades of playing games, it's time for the beverage industry to be upfront with consumers about ginseng. V-Net has shown the way."
Corr noted the federal Farm Bill 2002 corrects the confusion arising from application of the term "ginseng" to Eleutherococcus senticosus (so-called Siberian ginseng, "Eleuthero"). The new law establishes that "ginseng" shall apply only to plants of the genus Panax. There are eight Panax species, but only two, Panax ginseng (Chinese ginseng) and Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) are used commercially. Eleutherococcus sells for under $2.00/lb whereas American ginseng root trades for $25.00/lb.
"At V-Net, we use quality Wisconsin-grown American Ginseng root (Panax quinquefolius) exclusively in our beverages," said Bob Corr. "We shun foreign-grown ginseng because only Wisconsin has strict laws regulating growing and processing of ginseng. Strict oversight guarantees Wisconsin ginseng does not have harmful pesticide residues. In December, the FDA seized Asian-grown ginseng tainted by a cancer-causing fungicide (quintozene), banned for crops in the United States but used elsewhere. Not only is Asian-grown ginseng suspect. Quintozene is legal in Canada, a major ginseng exporter." (http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWER.../ANS01334.html)
V-Net currently markets three ginseng beverages: Ginseng Rush(TM), Ginseng Rush XXX(TM) and Rush Herbal Cola(TM). Each 12 oz. bottle of Ginseng Rush contains 5 ml. American Ginseng extract. V-Net's extract is made by blending one full pound of American Ginseng dry root into one gallon of a water/alcohol mixture. Ginseng Rush XXX and Rush Herbal Cola contain 15 ml. and 3.8 ml. of this ginseng extract, respectively.
"The consumer has no idea of the quality or quantity of ginseng used in beverages of our major competitors," said Corr. "Hypothetically, they could take one drop of our ginseng extract and add it to a bathtub full of water. They could then take one drop from that bathtub, add it to their beverage, and write "ginseng" on the container in bold letters. To make matters worse, they could be using foreign-grown ginseng. Naturally, we have full faith they are following the law and using real ginseng and not "Eleuthero". With Ginseng Rush and Ginseng Rush XXX, our label tells how much ginseng is in the bottle and where it's from. We're proud of that."