Iceland ad banned for ‘denigrating’ food standards body

An Iceland ad launched in the wake of the horsemeat scandal to reassure the public it sold products customers “can trust” has been slammed by the ad watchdog for “denigrating” the Irish food standards body. 


The supermarket questioned the methods used by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) when testing for horse meat in the February ad. The FSAI’s tests, which found traces of horse meat in two ‘Iceland Quarter Pounder’ burgers, was not “accredited” and used lower equine DNA thresholds than accepted as standard elsewhere, Iceland stated. Two further tests by “accredited independent laboratories” , the supermarket added, “found no evidence of contamination”.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the ad discredited the FSAI because it failed to point out the initial tests were widely recognised as standard in the US and that the FSAI carried out a second set of tests using an independently accredited laboratory.

Iceland has amended the ad and acknowledged the validity of the FSAI’s test results on its website.

A separate complaint that the ad was misleading because the claim “no horsemeat has ever been found in an Iceland product” was contradicted by the retailer’s admission that a small amount of equine DNA was found in its beef burgers was rejected.  

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