KENYA:Biscuits firm faces lawsuit over false nutritional claims

November 2017 BusinessDaily;

The Health ministry will take legal action against confectionery company over billboards passing misleading nutritional claims on biscuits.

Through the Department of Public Health, the company, Nuvita Biscuits has been ordered to take down the advert, which a dietary expert has said contained misleading nutritional claims.

The advert about cookies baked by Nuvita has been the source of online debate since the billboard was mounted a week ago.

In the billboard, the company used a picture of cookies wrapped in a bow with the message “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand”.

“This claim has not been cleared for advertisement by the ministry and therefore such advert must be brought down immediately and legal action taken against the owners.”

“If it is NuVita so be it, but let them follow the law – and for the legal action that we are going to take against them or any other culprits, leave it to us.”

The NuVita brand biscuits are manufactured by Thika-based Mjengo Ltd. We could not reach them on phone for comment by the time of going to press.

Dr Kepha Ombacho, Publlic Health director, instructed county public health officers to ensure that the billboard is removed as it is against the provision of the Food, Drugs and Chemical Substance Act.

The Act states that those in breach risk a fine not exceeding Sh500, 000 or imprisonment for a term not more than two years or both.

In the case of a subsequent offence, a vendor risks a fine not exceeding Sh700, 000 or jail term not exceeding five years, or both. The Act also provides for withdrawal of a firm’s operating license.

Social media users felt that the statement on the billboard was misleading since cookies alone are not a source of balanced diet.

“You cannot put balanced diet and cookies in the same sentence… Bring down this billboard,” wrote a Facebook user.


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