Court Sides With Controversial Inventor

A Moscow court on Friday refused to ban the production and sale of water filters by controversial inventor Viktor Petrik despite evidence that the devices are ineffective.

The Consumer Rights Protection Society sued the Golden Formula holding company and distributor Golden Formula Megapolis in late 2010, claiming that the filters were virtually useless.

But the court found that Petrik's companies had merely misled customers about the filters' capabilities and ordered that claims be corrected and that a notice be printed in Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The case received widespread attention after it was reported that Petrik, a friend and protege of former United Russia chairman Boris Gryzlov, would benefit from a multibillion-dollar nationwide tap-water purification program backed by the ruling party.

Experts have repeatedly condemned Petrik as a quack, although he claims to be prolific inventor. The Russian Academy of Sciences concluded in 2010 that his work "has nothing to do with science."

An expert testified Thursday that Petrik's filters did not remove microbes from water and were dangerous to use on anything but water already fit to drink, BFM.ru reported.

Petrik, who served a prison term for fraud in Soviet days, said in court that the testimony was part of a personal vendetta and claimed that numerous studies have shown that his filters are effective.

He also accused the Consumer Rights Protection Society of being a foreign agent and attempting to derail his Clean Water project.

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