The website www.juicegarden.org, an online juice retailer, included claims related to various products, such as "LEAFY GREENS Apple Kale Spinach Lemon Ginger Detoxifier …" and "BLOODY MARVELLOUS Beetroot Apple Carrot Lemon Blood Purifier …".
The complainant challenged the health claims "Detoxifier" and "Blood Purifier" which were subject to EC Regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods (the Regulation), which was reflected in the CAP Code.
Juice Garden Ltd said they did not seek to profit from health concerns and that they were willing to make changes to the ad but did not provide a substantive response.
The ASA was concerned by Juice Garden's lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and we told them to do so in future.
According to the Regulation, only health claims which appeared on the list of authorised health claims (the EU Register) could be made in ads that promoted foods. Health claims were defined as those that stated, suggested or implied that a relationship existed between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health. However, we noted we had not seen evidence to demonstrate that "Blood Purifier" was an authorised health claim.
The Regulation stated that references to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health related well-being were acceptable only if accompanied by a specific authorised health claim. We considered, in the context of the ad, which included no reference to specific types of detoxification, "Detoxifier" was likely to be understood to be a reference to a general health benefit. However, we noted it was not accompanied by a related specific authorised claim.
Because the ad made a general health claim not accompanied by a related specific authorised claim and we had also not seen evidence that the specific health claim, "Blood Purifier", was authorised on the EU Register, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications that contain nutrition or health claims must be supported by documentary evidence to show they meet the conditions of use associated with the relevant claim, as specified in the EU Register. Claims must be presented clearly and without exaggeration.
Only nutrition claims listed in the updated Annex of the EU Regulation (as reproduced in the EU Register) may be used in marketing communications.
Only health claims listed as authorised in the EU Register, or claims that would have the same meaning to the consumer may be used in marketing communications.
http://www.ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/community_register/authorised_health_claims_en.htm. and 15.2 15.2 References to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being are acceptable only if accompanied by a specific authorised health claim. (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Juice Garden Ltd to ensure they did not make health claims in future that were not authorised on the EU Register and that general health claims were made only if accompanied by a related specific authorised claim. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.