The NSW Food Authority is investigating “wacky” health claims by frozen yoghurt chain Yogurberry in response to a complaint from consumer action group Choice.
The state government authority is responsible for food safety and labelling regulations, and routinely investigates consumer complaints about misleading or incomplete labelling, unsafe ingredients, and unhygienic food handling.
“The NSW Food Authority has received a complaint from Choice regarding Yogurberry and the Authority is currently looking into the claims,” a spokesperson said.
In a blog post yesterday, Choice said Yogurberry had made a number of “wacky health claims”, including:
– in-store posters claiming that yoghurt contains “vast quantities of bifidus lactobacillus [sic]” that aids digestion and weight loss and can “significantly lower the risk of coronary heart disease”.
– an in-store pamphlet claiming that “calcium is known to have slimming effects” and that “live yoghurt cultures … can slow the ageing process of the body”.
“New laws that take effect from January 2016 will regulate health claims on labels or in ads,” Choice said.
“In the meantime, a transitional standard prohibits claims that a food is slimming or has intrinsic weight-reducing properties, and must not refer to the prevention, diagnosis, cure or alleviation of a disease.”
Choice also took issue with froyo chains Yogurtland and Noggi after visiting five froyo shops in Sydney.
It argued that Yoghurtland, a US chain, displayed measurements in fluid ounces for each flavour and left out information such as fat, saturated fat and sugar despite Food Standards Australia New Zealand requirements.
“Not only is it hard to determine the basics, such as fat and sugar levels, it’s impossible to know, for example, how many active cultures and which strains, or how much omega-3 is in the food,” Choice wrote.
“One chain, Noggi, couldn’t even tell us which of its products contain omega-3, despite laying claim to this health benefit on one of its stores’ website.
“We also found some questionable nutrition information on offer. Noggi’s analysis claims 100g of strawberries provides 1kJ of energy, when in fact it’s closer to 100kJ.”
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