Which? attacks 'exaggerated' food supplement health claims
Consumers are wasting money on food supplements that use "exaggerated, misleading and sometimes unauthorised" claims to promote their alleged health benefits, a highly critical report has warned.
Some manufacturers – including well known names such as Boots, Seven Seas and Vitabiotics – are still helping to sell their products through "clever language" that confuses buyers, despite the EU having outlawed such practices, according to research by the consumer organisation Which?
It looked at a number of popular supplements and assessed whether the claims made on their packaging were in line with what the EU'sEuropean Food Safety Authority(Efsa) allows. In its opinion, three types of supplement – Bioglan Probiotic capsules, Bimuno Prebiotic powder and Seven Seas Cardiomax – "made unproven health claims on their packaging and websites". The packaging of the Bioglan and Bimuno products "make unproven claims relating to how they help maintain digestive health, such as 'helps maintain digestive balance'. These supplements don't contain any additional vitamins or minerals so don't actually have any approved health benefits," says the research.
The EU has rejected many examples of advertising designed to promote the idea that probiotic drinks help enhance the body's natural defences and boost the immune system, and all health claims of any sort related to prebiotic and probiotic drinks and tablets submitted for its approval by supplement-makers, Which? says.