Company: Dr Demuth, Germany; imported by Asda Stores Ltd
Final Decision: 20 March 1998
Considered under the 2nd Edition of the Code
Clause 2.2. The list of vitamins contained in the drink carries the clear implication that this drink is good for health. However, the product is 5.5% aby and, as any one with expert opinion of alcohol will know, alcohol strips the body of vitamins. As such, the implied health claims cannot be substantiated. While there is no specific provision under the Code to cover drinks which make bogus health claims, (and many claim the revitalising powers of guarana), we feel that such statements – either explicit or implied – run contrary to the spirit of the Code”.
Under paragraph 2.2
This Code is to be applied in the spirit as well as in the letter.
The company’s submission
The importer claims the label does not imply that the product is good for health, and that the reference to added vitamins is ‘purely for nutritional information‘. It emphasises that the product is sold from within the wine fixture in stores.
The Panel’s assessment
The Panel was not persuaded that the product label made any health claims, bogus or otherwise. Even if it had, the Panel agreed with the complainant that there was no provision in the Code to cover health claims of this nature. Furthermore, when (as in this case) there was no inducement to immoderate consumption, the Panel did not consider that, if a health claim had been made, it would be against the spirit of the Code, which aims to combat all forms of alcohol misuse among all age groups.
Action by company
No action required.