Solal’s “Naturally Sweet” claims, dismissed again by ASA.

Posted 23 September 2011

In this long-running saga, following the Sugar Association's complaint to the ASA that Solal's claims in its  advertisements for its “Naturally Sweet” and “Stevia Sweet” products were misleading, Solal again appealed the ASA's decision in favour of the Sugar Association. The ASA has ruled against Solal's new appeal. 

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Solal vs Sugar Association, again! ASA ruling

Posted 09 September 2011

This ruling is interesting and significant for a number of reasons. 

1. A number of complaints have been laid with the ASA against a number of Solal adverts. In particular, Naturally Sweet. The on-going saga has been posted to DrugInfo before. A number of issues were illustrated, and in particular, Solal and Rene Doms’s belief that the ASA have no jurisdiction over Solal advertising, that the consultants are not legally adequate to make rulings, that the process was flawed, and that the appeal process will be in their favour. As a result of appeal process, the appeal reached the ASA’s Final Appeal Committee (FAC), chaired by Judge Mervyn King, who ruled against Solal complex and convoluted arguments which cleared the ASA to proceed with point 2, below. 

2. A new grouping, the Association for Responsible Health Information and Advertising (ARHIA) headed by Prof Roy Jobson, laid Read the rest

Solal Solal – Sugar Association, again

Posted 29 August 2011

The arguments by Solal Technologies in this ASA ruling are somewhat bizarre. Solal argues, among other, that because they paid for accessing the articles or for researching the articles required to substantiate their claims, that this information is therefore confidential and cannot be divulged.

Imagine if a large pharmaceutical company claimed that the evidence in support of their drug cannot be released because it is confidential, or because as they had paid for articles supporting the claims, that consumers are not allowed to see the evidence to support their claims. I am sure there will be outrage, in particular from the CAM industry!

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ASA Ruling: Solal Technologies vs SASA

Posted 3 August 2011

On 5 May 2011, the ASA Directorate held that the following claims made by Solal Technologies in an advertisement for its “Naturally Sweet” and “Stevia Sweet” products were, inter alia, unsubstantiated and in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II:

“For a long time it has been known that a diet high in sugar can cause weight-gain, diabetes and sugar-shock (tiredness about 1 hour after eating or drinking something sweet)”

“More recently, research conducted in 2008 and 2009 has shown that sugar excess can suppress your immune system and increase the risk of developing cancer”.

“Healthy alternative to sugar …”

Solal appealed this ruling and submitted new substantiation.

The ASA dismissed the appeal, and noted a number of times, "The respondent’s . . . argument is . . . nonsensical."

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Breach complaint against Solal dismissed

Posted 5 July 2011

The Sugar Association (SASA) laid a breach complaint with the ASA against Solal arguing that Solal continued to make claims for their “Naturally Sweet” and “Stevia Sweet” products, which had claimed among other, "[F]or a long time it has been known that a diet high in sugar can cause weight-gain, diabetes and sugar-shock (tiredness about 1 hour after eating or drinking something sweet)”.

SASA argued that a Google search found these documents on the Solal website. However Solal argued that the documents had been removed and that the links referenced were probably "cached" documents – which were no longer accessible. The ASA concurred, after also not being able to find documents at the URLs submitted, and dismissed the breach complaint.

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ASA ruling: Solal Naturally Sweet

The South African Sugar Association (“SASA”) lodged a complaint with the ASA against a print advertisement for Solal's Naturally Sweet product, which appeared, inter alia, in The Star of 28 September 2009. The advertisement was headed, “Too much sugar or artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.”

On 01 Dec 2009, the ASA ruled against Solal effectively not allowing them to make these claims any longer.

Solal appealed and on the 17 May 2010, the ASA accepting the substantiation of the claims by Mr Rael Koping (a dietitian), found in favour of Solal allowing the claims to be used. I am informed that SASA will be requesting arbitration. 

 See also:
  1. First ruling
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