Summary of Council decision:
Ten issues were investigated, all of which were Upheld.
The website www.bootea.com promoted teas. Text on the "About Bootea" page, under the heading "What does Bootea do?", stated "The natural ingredients in Bootea can: Increase your metabolism Burn calories and convert food to energy Burn fat & counteract fat storage Regulate blood sugar levels Assist in the digestion of food Suppress appetite Improve skin health Improve quality of sleep Cleanse & detoxify Allow you to reach your health/weightloss goals All ingredients are pure, natural & preservative free". Text on the "FAQ" page, under the heading "After the teatox" stated "Will I put the weight straight back on when I stop? No, is the answer! You shouldn't pile the weight back on once you stop as often happens with many other diets which restrict you calorie intake".
The complainant challenged whether the following health claims were compliant with the Code:
1. "Increase your metabolism";
2. "Burn calories and convert food to energy";
3. "Burn fat & counteract fat storage";
4. "Regulate blood sugar levels";
5. "Assist in the digestion of food";
6. "Suppress appetite";
7. "Improve skin health";
8. "Improve quality of sleep";
9. "Cleanse & detoxify"; and
10. Allow you to reach your health/weightloss goals".
Eighty Twenty Ventures Ltd t/a Bootea said they had removed the claims.
1. − 10. Upheld
The ASA noted that under EC Regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods (the Regulation), which was reflected in the CAP Code, only health claims which appeared on the list of authorised health claims (the EU Register) could be made in ads promoting foods, including food supplements, and that marketers must also ensure that they met the conditions of use associated with the claims in question. In addition, we noted that health claims could only be made for the nutrient, substance, food or food category for which they had been authorised, and not for the product itself, because the authorised claim described the particular health relationship that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said had been substantiated by scientific evidence.
The CAP Code defined health claims as those that stated, suggested or implied a relationship between a food, or ingredient, and health. Therefore, we considered that all the claims highlighted by the complainant were health claims. Whilst we acknowledged that Bootea had removed the specific claims highlighted from the corresponding pages of their website, we noted that the same, or similar claims, still appeared elsewhere on the site. Therefore, we considered that Bootea needed to provide evidence to show that the EU Register included authorised claims supporting all the challenged health claims, for at least one of the nutrients or substances within the product. Because Bootea were not able to provide evidence to show that the challenged claims were authorised on the EU Register, and the health claims were all attributed to the product itself rather than particular nutrients or substances within the product, we concluded that the claims were in breach of the Code.
The claims 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 15.7 15.7 Nutrition and health claims for food supplements must be permitted or authorised as provided for at rule 15.1.1 above. 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. (Food, food supplements and associated health and nutrition claims).
The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told Bootea to ensure they did not make unauthorised health claims in future.