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“It was not our intention to make any unauthorised health claims in this mailing."

Not ‘normal’ enough, ASA tells ‘disappointed’ Danone Nutricia over infant formula claims

2 comments

By Shane Starling+

30-Jul-2014
Last updated on 30-Jul-2014 at 16:35 GMT

The unauthorised marketing as it appeared in the Tesco mail-out...
The unauthorised marketing as it appeared in the Tesco mail-out...

Danone’s Nutricia division has been rapped again for exaggerated infant follow-on formula claims, this time in conjunction with UK retailing giant Tesco.

Danone Nutricia spokesperson Helen Messenger told us the up-for-sale division won’t be appealing the verdict but is, “disappointed by the forensic approach” taken by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

It was not our intention to make any unauthorised health claims in this mailing,” Messenger said.  “When the mailing was distributed in July 2013, the claims were put together in good faith based on the information and guidance available at that time.”

She said the firm, which only last month had vitamin D-bone claims for the same Aptamil with Pronutra+ follow-on formula upheld by the ASA, had learned about claim flexibility from the ruling, with its removal of the word ‘normal’ from European Union nutrition and health claim regulation- (NHCR) approved claims evidently enough to push its claims outside the law, or the ASA’s interpretation of it.

It followed a censoring by the ASA in January over a campaign for its Cow & Gate brand.

The ruling also affirmed that the ability of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) to alter the gut flora was indeed an unauthorised NHCR claim and not a statement of fact as Nutricia had asserted in its discussions with the ASA.

Its marketing had claimed GOS/FOS were, “special carbohydrates encouraging your toddler's friendly bacteria to thrive."

Mike Brady, campaigns coordinator at pro-breastfeeding NGO, Baby Milk Action, welcomed the ASA ruling but wondered why the breach had not been passed to Trading Standards for further action to be taken.

“The ASA has a very patchy record in ruling on misleading formula advertising,” Brady said. “Even when it upholds complaints, there is no requirement for corrections to be printed and no fines, so few people know they were misled and little changes.” 

Messenger said the Danone division - hotly tipped for imminent sale to US drug firm Hospira - had heeded the ASA stance and amended ongoing campaigns.

Not normal?

In deconstructing the marketing, the ASA said claim flexibility was fine in principle and it had no issue with the fact Nutricia changed part of the official NHCR wording for omega-3 form DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and visual health.

There it was deemed passable to change the official “contributes to” to “support”.

But taking ‘normal’ out of the official wording, "the normal visual development of infants up to 12 months of age" went too far.

The agency explained: “We considered that removing the word ‘normal’ from the authorised claim meant that it was not clear to consumers that the health effect of DHA related to the normal visual development of babies. We therefore concluded that the omission of the word had changed the meaning of the authorised health claim, and the claim was therefore in breach of the Code.”

It also said there was an implication that omega-6 form ARA (arachidonic acid) could benefit visual health when there was no approved claim for that.

"tailored to support your baby's nutritional needs"?

A claim that the product was, "tailored to support your baby's nutritional needs" was deemed a general claim that required more specific, authorised claims to back them up as required under the NHCR.

This could not come from GOS/FOS since those claims were not authorised, but iron had an authorised claim that it, “contributes to normal cognitive development of children".

But again Nutricia was found to be in breach because it changed, “normal cognitive development” with, “brain development”. This, the ASA said, “suggested a wider range of physical and functional development than ‘cognitive development’.”

2 comments (Comments are now closed)

Baby-foods & Diseases of Unknown Origin

It is certainly necessary to produce good milk-supply for immune-incompetent(as they are all until ~24 months/age) babies.
But the milks should be free from d-amino-acids, the "non-protein-forming acids" (as d-AAs are declared in French), which are the typical & significant products of bacterial action on proper l-amino-acids. This is also why Mothers are not allowed to breastfeed while having a bacterial mastitis. When -some years ago- I asked at Danone Milk-lab about the d-amino-acid content of their milk for babies, the in-charge partner at the other end of the line was surprised to hear of the article of Sela(Sela,M.& Zisman,E.: Different Roles of D-Amino acids in Immune-Phenomena, In: FASEB Journ. (1997) 11, p.449-459) describing “different signalizing effects of ingested d-amino-acids during immunity-build-up period”. The more I was astonished to see
that even Yoghurt-like products are early given and short-time-superheated milk [UHT-process being used to pasteurize, even sterilize the cow's milk to prevent bacterial contamination].
So now I really wonder about the actual ‰ (pm-!) content of those Milk-products called quasi natural mother-milk-like products.
A casual observation on one baby, nursed by her Japan-Mother(who had -increasing her own breast-milk-production- only been drinking > 1 L Yoghurt-MILK –self-prepared from UHT-Milk of local Super-Market- for 4 months) made me think about the health-significance of D-Serine and D-Arginine and D-Alanine with the loss of Elasticity of the child's Coronaries' Elastic-Media layer. This child fell ill with the KAWASAKI-Syndrome (a DUO which may be related to this fact), admitted to Hospital the usual milk was thrown and a fostering nurse's milk was given, the child luckily recovered soon from fever and after 3 weeks was discharged as no further Aneurysm of the coronaries were observed beyong the 3rd week.
The Pediatricien could not understand the context for investigating Mothers'-Milk for excretion of d-amino-acids of that elasticity-relevant sort. (BTW: D-serine is also said to be related to grey-star!)

But perhaps Food-Navigator might take up the issue to observe (& ask for declaration of ) the d-amino-content in milk-products especially for young & immune-incompetent babies.
[KAWASAKI-Syndrome is still a DUO*-Condition characterized by sudden fever with short rush, weakness, sonogr. demonstration of Coronaries' Aneurysm which may rupture as source of bleeding & COD+].
And the Milk-producer was unaware of the possible patho-significance of mother's food-transmitted secretion of unhealthy Factors excreted per vias naturales with increased yield of milk.
Even Cows can liberate their organism of disturbing "High-energy-products in overly Melasse & Aspartam-sweetened CORN-based Feed-lots" as used in high-milk-yield achieving CAFO-Farms. A few days of Cow's reduced ability to balance in- & output by showing reduced High Milk-Production is nowadays the reason to 'exchange' the cow (sent to market to render meat, fat & hide and bones)

Report abuse

Posted by Dr.Klaus J.Seelig,MD
06 August 2014 | 15h25

Baby-foods & Diseases of Unknown Origin

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Regulation/Not-normal-enough-ASA-tells-disappointed-Danone-Nutricia-over-infant-formula-claims

Baby-foods & Diseases of Unknown Origin
It is certainly necessary to produce good milk-supply for immune-incompetent(as they are all until ~24 months/age) babies.
But the milks should be free from d-amino-acids, the "non-protein-forming acids" (as d-AAs are declared in French), which are the typical & significant products of bacterial action on proper l-amino-acids. This is also why Mothers are not allowed to breastfeed while having a bacterial mastitis. When -some years ago- I asked at Danone Milk-lab about the d-amino-acid content of their milk for babies, the in-charge partner at the other end of the line was surprised to hear of the article of Sela(Sela,M.& Zisman,E.: Different Roles of D-Amino acids in Immune-Phenomena, In: FASEB Journ. (1997) 11, p.449-459) describing “different signalizing effects of ingested d-amino-acids during immunity-build-up period”. The more I was astonished to see
that even Yoghurt-like products are early given and short-time-superheated milk [UHT-process being used to pasteurize, even sterilize the cow's milk to prevent bacterial contamination].
So now I really wonder about the actual ‰ (pm-!) content of those Milk-products called quasi natural mother-milk-like products.
A casual observation on one baby, nursed by her Japan-Mother(who had -increasing her own breast-milk-production- only been drinking > 1 L Yoghurt-MILK –self-prepared from UHT-Milk of local Super-Market- for 4 months) made me think about the health-significance of D-Serine and D-Arginine and D-Alanine with the loss of Elasticity of the child's Coronaries' Elastic-Media layer. This child fell ill with the KAWASAKI-Syndrome (a DUO which may be related to this fact), admitted to Hospital the usual milk was thrown and a fostering nurse's milk was given, the child luckily recovered soon from fever and after 3 weeks was discharged as no further Aneurysm of the coronaries were observed beyong the 3rd week.
The Pediatricien could not understand the context for investigating Mothers'-Milk for excretion of d-amino-acids of that elasticity-relevant sort. (BTW: D-serine is also said to be related to grey-star!)

But perhaps Food-Navigator might take up the issue to observe (& ask for declaration of ) the d-amino-content in milk-products especially for young & immune-incompetent babies.
[KAWASAKI-Syndrome is still a DUO*-Condition characterized by sudden fever with short rush, weakness, sonogr. demonstration of Coronaries' Aneurysm which may rupture as source of bleeding & COD+].
And the Milk-producer was unaware of the possible patho-significance of mother's food-transmitted secretion of unhealthy Factors excreted per vias naturales with increased yield of milk.
Even Cows can liberate their organism of disturbing "High-energy-products in overly Melasse & Aspartam-sweetened CORN-based Feed-lots" as used in high-milk-yield achieving CAFO-Farms. A few days of Cow's reduced ability to balance in- & output by showing reduced High Milk-Production is nowadays the reason to 'exchange' the cow (sent to market to render meat, fat & hide and bones)

Report abuse

Posted by Dr.Klaus J.Seelig,MD
06 August 2014 | 15h03

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