ASA slams Iceland over anti-GM propaganda

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has slammed Iceland for exaggerating public fears about genetically modified (GM) food.

The supermarket group, which has been at the forefront of the campaign against GM food, has been asked to change a leaflet for its own-label range after the ASA found it exaggerated the facts about GM and made an “unacceptable appeal to the reader’s fears”.

The ASA this week also hit out at Tesco for claiming in a brochure that the price of organic food “may be a little higher” when, in some cases, they were considerably higher.

It also found that Tesco’s leaflet was misleading because it implied that chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers were not used in the production of organic food, when they were.

The supermarket group was told not to repeat the claim “you’ll notice a difference in taste and texture” unless it could provide convincing evidence that consumers noticed a difference.

The ASA also upheld a complaint against Channel Four Television’s subscription film channel FilmFour after it claimed in a national press ad that it offered “uncut” films.

The ASA found that the channel was subject to the same British Board of Film Classification rules as video and other media, and had in fact shown censored versions of 22 films.

Car maker Daewoo has been censured by the ASA after a press ad by Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters wrongly claimed prices were “fixed up to 30 per cent lower than competitors’ models with the same specification”.

Drinks Direct, off-licence group First Quench’s home delivery division, was also forced to withdraw an ad, by CGT, which carried the strapline: “It was the best thing about my birthday… six beers before midday.”

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