Farm Ireland

Saturday 20 January 2018

Fonterra withdraws health claims

Fonterra has been forced to withdraw health claims on its website following objections by New Zealand's advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority concluded that the dairy giant had "misled" consumers with five claims on its website regarding the nutritional benefits of its dairy products.

Following the complaint, Fonterra made amendments to four of the five statements. Three of the changes were accepted by New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority.

The fourth change centred on a statement that "dairy is an essential food group and a vital component of a balanced, nutritious diet". Fonterra amended the first part of the statement to read that dairy was an "important" food group but the watchdog ruled the extended use of the word "vital" continued to mislead consumers.

Fonterra's decided to stand by a fifth statement that "no other source of calcium can be absorbed as well by the body, the other nutrients in dairy foods help absorption" on the basis that it was "technically correct".

However, the Advertising Standards Authority said Fonterra had not "adequately substantiated" the claim.

Meanwhile, a Dutch court has banned soy-based food manufacturer Alpro from using the term 'yoghurt' to market its products. However, the judge ruled that the US-owned subsidiary of Dean Foods can continue to use the term 'yoghurt variation' in combination with the term 'plant-based'.

Darragh McCullough

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