Welcome Time Elevator Srl, the television broadcaster Teleuniverso Srl and Mr Adriano Panzironi along with Life120 Italia are accused of broadcasting two versions of an advert for its Orac Spice supplement that contains exaggerated health claims.
A second accusation states that all parties knowingly hid product advertising and promotion within a television programme with the specific intent of highlight Life120 Italia’s products.
For the repetition of each practice, the companies and Mr Panzironi are fined a total of €250,000 and €40,000 respectively.
“In the [advertising] spot in question real preventive and therapeutic effects were suggested for the ingredients of the Orac Spice supplement,” the AGCM rules.
“These ingredients can only optimise physiological functions within normal limits.
“Welcome Time Elevator Srl, Life120 Italia Srls, Teleuniverso Srl and Mr Adriano Panzironi also repeat the act of hidden advertising already censored by the previous ruling of 13 September, 2018.
“During the section, ’Panzironi comes to lunch with us,' during an episode broadcast on 5 March 2019 by the television broadcaster Teleuniverso, there is casual dialogue between Mr Panzironi and a member of the host family.
“Here, the benefits of Life120 and the family’s purchases are praised in communication deemed unsuitable and having an advertising purpose.”
NutraIngredients reported on this story in Oct 2018, where Life120 Italia were fined over €500,000 for making false claims and using ‘non-transparent’ methods in promoting its food supplement range.
Along with his twin brother Roberto, Adriano Panzironi are the founders of Life120, a movement that advocates the elimination of carbohydrates in order to achieve optimum health and live as long as 120 years of age.
The accompanying book, suggests the advent of cereals (including rice), sugar and other agricultural produce like potatoes and legumes (starches), have played a significant role in population health and therefore must be eliminated from the diet.
Going against scientifically accepted views, the foods mentioned means avoidance of the Mediterranean diet, a regimen that emphasises pulses, starches, pasta, bread, corn and legumes.
Panzironi’s method also suggests that diseases can be treated with spices such as turmeric, ginger, cloves and black pepper of which are found in the nine types of supplements produced by the Panzironi brothers.
In a statement posted on his Facebook profile on the 2ndOctober, Panzironi explains his motivations in appearing on Italian media despite the criticism levelled at him.
He said that appearing on such programs resulted in an “increase in people interested in Life120 as well as an increase in social media interest”.
“It is a greater and constant presence on the media that makes our revolution even faster and effective,” he said.
“Remember that any of my participation in television programs, as well as for health, has always been aimed at saving more and more people from degenerative diseases.”
Life120 did not respond to our requests for comment on the AGCM’s actions.