In the presentation for ProLife CBD Oils, the UK-based firm also claimed the product helped with general well-being and the immune system also implying it was approved by the Food Standards Agency.
Responding to ASA’s ruling, Gemporia said they were not able to, “substantiate the claims or demonstrate that they were authorised claims in the Great Britain nutrition and health claims (NHC) Register (the NHC Register).”
The firm added that because a Novel Foods application had been submitted to the FSA, they assumed the products were allowed to be marketed.
Any references made in relation to this were based on that assumption, they added acknowledging they had misunderstood the context.
Gemporia, based in Redditch, admitted they had breached the Code on all issues and said their future advertising would adhere to the Code.
The ad was specifically a 48-minute teleshopping presentation seen on the Gemporia television channel on 22 May 2021 that featured studies showing the types on conditions that CBD oil was said to help with that included Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and obesity.
Throughout the presentation the presenters made claims, including from testimonials about the benefits of CBD oil, that suggested the product could alleviate pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea.
The presentation also discussed the requirement for CBD products to be FSA registered stating, “… you’ve got here the certificate of analysis and stability reporting testing … this is what everybody needs to have,” and “… what they are saying is anyone who has submitted their application before the deadline, they are allowing them to continue because they’ve spent the money and put the effort in, and you would hope that if they’ve done that then they are confident”,
They continued, “… all this UK regulation has just happened, a lot of companies now cannot even bring you CBD because it does not qualify in terms of quality.”
“We have always had the quality; we have not had to change a thing” and “… that certificate of good quality and all the tick boxes has always been there.”
In explaining its decision ASA said the products were still under review by the FSA and the novel foods application process considered factors other than the quality of the product.
They concluded the ad, “misrepresented the requirements for novel foods authorisation and misleadingly implied the ProLife CBD Oil products were approved, endorsed or authorised by the FSA.”
Prevents, treats, cures disease
ASA’s assessment also thought consumers understood the presentation was saying ProLife CBD oils could help with conditions mentioned in the slides, testimonials and by the presenters.
“We concluded the claims implied the product, a food, prevented, treated or cured human disease, which was prohibited under the Code,” they added.
We considered viewers would understand the claim, “helps your immune system” to mean that the CBD in the product would help with the effective functioning of the immune system.
“The claim was therefore a specific health claim unauthorised on the NHC Register and therefore breached the Code.
The other claim “Helps with general well-being” was also deemed a general health claim that needed to be accompanied by a specific authorised health claim relating to CBD.
However, because there were no authorised health claims for CBD, that claim also breached the Code.