Leicester trading standards thought claims made for Seven Seas’ cod liver oil capsules overstepped the mark.
Who: Seven Seas Ltd and Leicester Council’std and Leicester Council’s consumer protection service
When: Autumn 2001.
Seven Seas, one of the UK’s largest producers of food supplements, markets a range of products including licensed medicines, cod liver oil and other products as food supplements. Under the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 as amended it is illegal, in the labelling or advertising of food, to make a claim that a food has the property of preventing, curing or treating any human disease. The label in question was on Seven Seas cod liver oil capsules sold as a food. This read “Contains vitamins A, D and E. These vitamins are essential for the maintenance of resistance to infections such as coughs and colds.” This clear medicinal claim fell foul of the Food Labelling Regulations and Seven Seas were issued with a formal caution.
Why this matters:
The case is a reminder of the wide definition of “medicinal claims” in this context and the fact that this area of public law is well policed.