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UK watchdog rules omega-3 supplements adverts medicinal

By Shane Starling , 15-Jul-2010
Last updated on 15-Jul-2010 at 13:30 GMT

A national press campaign for omega-3 food supplements that claimed they could, “cure reflux, severe eczema and arthritis” has been challenged by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

In a ruling this week, the ASA told Northern Irish supplements manufacturer Paradox Omega Oils that the ads should not appear again in their current form as they were making misleading, unauthorized medicinal claims.

Paradox said the claims reflected the science in the area and were directly drawn from a newspaper article, but the ASA said this evidence did not back the claims, nor did testimonials that appeared in the advert.

The ASA noted that a pilot study submitted by Paradox was conducted using a different formulation of the omnega-3 supplement and therefore lessened its worth in backing the claims.

“We considered the information submitted was not sufficiently robust to substantiate the claims. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading,” the ASA said.

In regard to the medical nature of the claims, the ASA stated: “We also considered the overall impression of the ad was that the product could cure or treat the conditions referred to. We noted that claims related to curing, or treating, health conditions were medicinal; however, the product did not have the relevant marketing authorisation from the MHRA. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.”

The MHRA is the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Paradox said it was complying with the ruling.

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