New Decisions: Fluoride Advocacy, Unsubstantiated Health Claims and More

The following decisions have been published:

Advocacy Group Appealed Board’s Decision on Fluoride Poisoning Advertisement

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint about a Fluoride Free billboard that showed a close up image of teeth and read: “Fluoride poisoning staring you in the face. 41% of NZ children have some form of dental fluorosis according to MoH Oral Health Survey. www.fluoridefree.org.nz” was Upheld, in part. The Advertiser appealed the Decision.

The Appeal Board considered all the matters afresh and agreed the identity of the Advertiser and their position were clear and accepted the image in the billboard was an illustration of damage to teeth. The Appeal Board said the factual statement “41% of NZ children have some form of dental fluorosis according to MoH 2009 Oral Health Survey” based on the Ministry of Health Oral Health Survey results was supported by the information provided by the Advertiser and was unlikely to mislead consumers.

However, the Appeal Board said the statement “Fluoride poisoning staring you in the face”, was misleading as the likely consumer take-out of the word poisoning denoted a serious and severe reaction to the ingestion of fluoride without adequate context. The Appeal Board ruled the reference to poisoning had not been prepared with a due standard of social responsibility and this aspect of the complaint was Upheld.

Accordingly, the Appeal Board ruled the complaint was Upheld, in part.

Unsubstantiated Therapeutic Claims Removed

The website advertisement for Exceptional Health promoted an “Aspartame Remover” in the form of oral drops, which it claimed removed the artificial sweetener aspartame from the body.

The Complainant said the advertisement contained unsubstantiated therapeutic claims about the “Aspartame Remover” product. They said the claim that the body cannot remove aspartame seemed unlikely and there is no evidence offered that the product removes aspartame from the body.

The Advertiser took self-regulatory action to amend the advertisement and remove the unsubstantiated claims about the product. The Chair ruled the complaint was Settled.

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