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Sunday, 21 July 2019

BBC in Libel Row Over Biodegradable Plastics

The BBC is facing libel action after criticising the specialist product of a plastics manufacturer.

Symphony Environmental Technologies Ltd, which specialises in manufacturing additives said to make plastics biodegradable and antibacterial, is suing the corporation for defamation.

BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, formerly a Symphony adviser, got into hot water when he used an appearance on The One Show to praise the company's green credentials.

Symphony launched its legal action after a BBC News item questioned how well so-called Oxo-biodegradable bags broke down in water. The following day the share price of the company plummeted, wiping millions off its value.

The company issued a statement at the time claiming that the BBC had failed to "fairly present the scientifically proven benefit of Oxo-biodegradable technology".

In April, broadcast regulator Ofcom rejected a complaint from Symphony over the BBC's coverage. The company had claimed it had been treated unfairly and that it was not given an appropriate opportunity to respond to allegations made against it.

Mayfair law firm Himsworth Scott is acting for Symphony. It is not clear at this stage how much the claim will be worth, but it could potentially be one of the largest legal actions the BBC has faced in recent times.

Last year the BBC was ordered to pay Sir Cliff Richard £210,000 after jointly stitching him up with South Yorkshire Police.

Symphony manufactures an additive called d2w, which it claims makes ordinary plastic biodegradable by speeding up the oxidation process.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The BBC don't care, they have captive Licence Fee payers to screw the money from to chuck at this action.