Equazen ordered to remove brain health claims

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European commission Nutrition

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has instructed omega
oil brand Equazen to withdraw a number of advertising claims
linking its Eye Q supplement to healthy brain development.

The issue of health claims on food products is currently a hot topic within the industry, as the European Commission is currently compiling a list of claims that can be substantiated by scientific studies.

Although the finalised list has not yet been published, advertising agencies across the bloc are already cracking down on food firms in anticipation.

In this case, the ASA was responding to two complaints that a national press advert and a promotional leaflet for the Eye Q supplement were inaccurate.

Equazen had previously said that this particular supplement could help maintain concentration levels and healthy brain development.

The agency upheld the complaints, ordering Equazen to remove the claims "... may help maintain concentration levels and healthy brain development", "the Clever Capsule"Scientifically tested in schools", "proven in schools" and "proven by Science" from future advertising for Eye Q. However, the ASA rejected a complaint that the trials referred to in the advertising had not been independent, noting " they (Equazen) had not initiated the tests or supplied financial backing in any other context".

Several other firms in the EU have come under fire for false advertising claims in recent months, including the UK-based smoothie company Innocent.

The ASA said an advert by the firm, which claimed its fruit juice contained more antioxidants than the "five-a-day" portion, was not truthful or substantiated.

The watchdog said, however, that accepted nutritional advice says smoothies and fruit juice could count towards only one of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, no matter how much was consumed.

Simply supplements also had to remove advertisements, after the ASA disputed claims that garlic supplements have a plethora of benefits including inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Under regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, which came into force in the UK from 1 July 2007, any food product claiming to have a health benefit must meet a list of European Commission-approved wording and be supported by scientific evidence.

Although the regulation came into force this month in the UK, the European Commission is not expected to agree a list of approved literature until the end of the year.

The scope of the changes will not just affect food packaging, but any content including websites associated with the food.

Related topics Regulation & Policy Suppliers

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