'HeartSmart' brand withdrawn
2 October 1996
The 'HeartSmart' brand will disappear from eggs following a settlement between the Commerce Commission and producers of the eggs.
As part of the settlement, the producers, PCL Industries Limited and Poultry Farmers Co-operative Limited, have also started a corrective advertising campaign today.
Commission Chairman Dr Alan Bollard said that the settlement does not prevent the companies producing eggs, but it prevents them making unproven or misleading claims about their benefits.
The companies will continue to produce and distribute eggs and have chosen to change the brand name to OmegaSmart.
Dr Bollard said the Commission's view was that the HeartSmart promotions gave false impressions that:
· eating eggs enriched with omega 3, as HeartSmart eggs were, has been proven to benefit the heart;
· HeartSmart eggs were lower in cholesterol than other eggs;
· unlike other eggs, people could eat as many HeartSmart eggs as they liked - "At last eggs you can eat to your heart's content!"; and
· omega 3 is severely lacking in the diet.
HeartSmart eggs contain the same amount of cholesterol as standard eggs. The New Zealand Heart Foundation recommends that people with high cholesterol levels or at risk of heart disease should contact it or consult their doctor about their diet.
Medical research has not proven claims that eating omega 3 enriched eggs benefits the heart nor that omega 3 is severely lacking in the diet.
PCL and Poultry Farmers Co-operative have signed undertakings to:
· withdraw all HeartSmart eggs advertising, packaging and promotional material;
· no longer use the name HeartSmart;
· not make false or misleading claims that HeartSmart, OmegaSmart or other omega 3 enriched eggs
- are low in cholesterol;
- benefit the heart; nor
- can be eaten in more than moderate amounts;
· not make false or misleading claims that omega 3 is severely lacking in the diet;
· publish corrective advertising agreed to by the Commission;
· give the Commission copies of all new advertising, packaging and promotional material ;
· have the Commission publicise this settlement.
"The companies have co-operated with the Commission," Dr Bollard said. "I am pleased with the attitude they have taken to our concerns and with what they have done to address the problems their promotion may have caused."
Media contact: Fair Trading Manager Rachel Leamy
Phone work (04) 498 0908, home (04) 386 3110
Communications Officer Vincent Cholewa
Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 479 1432