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Health claims law trips up tea firm

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By Rod Addy+

03-Sep-2014
Last updated on 03-Sep-2014 at 16:44 GMT

Bootea promotes a range of teas on its website
Bootea promotes a range of teas on its website

A company promoting healthy teas has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after falling foul of the EU's nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

Bootea’s website claimed Bootea’s ingredients could increase metabolism, burn calories and convert food to energy, burn fat and counteract fat storage, regulate blood sugar levels, aid digestion, suppress appetite and improve skin health.

Other claims mentioned on the site were that Bootea mostly botanical ingredients could improve sleep quality, cleanse and detoxify and “allow you to reach your health/weightloss goals”.

A complaint to the ASA challenged whether any of these claims complied with the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP’s) code.

Removed all claims

Eighty Twenty Ventures Ltd, the company behind Bootea, said it had removed all the claims from the site.

As with similar decisions, the ASA said that under the NHCR only authorised claims could be made in ads.

In addition, it stressed that health claims could only be made for the nutrient, substance, food or food category for which they had been authorised, and not for the product itself.

“We acknowledged that Bootea had removed the specific claims highlighted from the corresponding pages of their website,” the ASA said in its response to the complaint.

‘Needed to provide evidence’

However, it stated: “We noted that the same, or similar claims, still appeared elsewhere on the site. Therefore, we considered that Bootea needed to provide evidence to show that the EU Register included authorised claims supporting all the challenged health claims, for at least one of the nutrients or substances within the product.”

Bootea was unable to provide such evidence, so the ASA concluded: “The claims breached CAP code (Edition 12) rules 15.1, 15.1.1 and 15.7 (Food, food supplements and associated health and nutrition claims).

“The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told Bootea to ensure they did not make unauthorised health claims in future.”

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