UK advertising watchdog continues to target natural health industry

Once again, the UK media’s private industry self-regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has both natural health products and practitioners in its sights. Product ads from Cambridge Nutraceuticals, Healthspan and New Nordic promoting the health benefits of turmeric, vitamin A, zinc and lutein have been deemed to have breached the UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Marketing (CAP) code, which interprets the EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR; Reg No. 1924/2006) in the UK. Despite evidence being supplied to support the claims the ASA has ruled that, “The ads must not appear again in their current form”. In a separate ruling, an acupuncturist has also fallen foul of the ASA’s interpretation of the Regulation. In an ad for its services, Eileen Mannion Acupuncture stated that, ”Eileen offers acupuncture for…” and followed with a list of conditions. Despite the ad not making any treatment claims, the complaint has been upheld given that consumers could take it, “... to mean that acupuncture could help improve, or cure, the conditions listed”. These rulings form part of an ongoing campaign against products and services in the natural health sector by a private company that has no regulatory power itself, instead relying on back up from various Trading Standards offices. Alyssa Burns-Hill PhD has been battling with the ASA for 5 years with no resolution in sight. If you’ve had problems with the ASA please let us know in the comments below.

Scottish Government takes ‘bold action’ on obesity

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation aimed at combatting obesity. In ambitious plans, it’s proposing measures designed to restrict the promotion and advertising of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt, ban broadcast advertising of such products before 9pm and introduce a £40 million new investment to provide 100,000 supported weight management interventions for people with or at risk of type 2 diabetes. ANH-Intl will be responding to the consultation and sharing our concerns around the UK Government's Eatwell guidelines. If you believe the Eatwell Guide does not promote good health, contact the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt and Duncan Selbie, to request an urgent review in view of its contribution to higher, rather than lower, rates of chronic disease.

Just how independent will EFSA’s new rules make it?

Following recent criticisms of the European Food Standards Agency's (EFSA) lack of transparency and independence when making decisions, it has published details of a new set of rules to underpin its Independence Policy published in June of this year. It remains to be seen just how robust these rules will be and what difference (if any!) it makes to EFSA’s independence (or lack of it) from influence by Big Agra, Big Pharma and Big Food.

Pharma’s focus on natural products continues

The line between the world of pharmaceuticals and natural products is narrowing as patents on existing drugs run out. Ahead of CPhI, one of the biggest trade shows in the pharmaceutical industry’s calendar, Pharma’s focus on natural products has been highlighted . Your support is essential to help us as we continue to protect natural and sustainable approaches to healthcare being exploited by Big Pharma. All donations, however big (or small) help us to keep natural medicines available to all.