The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (NZ ASA) has forced Fonterra to amend its website after complaints about five 'misleading' health claims for its dairy products.
The five statements on the website are:
- 'Dairy has the building blocks for life. Whether we are a toddler or over 50 - we all need it.'
- 'Dairy is an essential food group and a vital component of a balanced, nutritious diet.'
- 'Dairy contains a balance of high quality proteins, carbohydrates and fats that make it an essential part of a balanced diet.'
- 'No other source of calcium can be absorbed as well by the body, the other nutrients in dairy foods help the absorption.'
- 'It [milk] is the richest dietary source of calcium…'
NZ ASA concluded that claims 1-3 are not factual and therefore misleading.
The Code for Advertising Food (CAF) in New Zealand states that nutritional claims should be factual, not misleading, and able to be substantiated.
The ASA chairman ruled against Fonterra, and noted that several provisions in the CAF were relevant to the case, particularly that food advertisements containing nutrient, nutrition or health claims should observe a high standard of social responsibility.
AFN have reported that Fonterra responded by agreeing to change the wording on its website to moderate the absolute nature of some of the claims.
For example, it agreed to change 'Dairy is an essential food group' to 'Dairy is an important food group'.
Source: NZ ASA/AFN
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