The Swedish Consumer Ombudsman has recently brought action before the Swedish Market Court against Vitaelab AB (“Vitaelab”) regarding the company’s marketing of the food supplement VitaePro. In its marketing Vitaelab uses “customer stories” where customers witness how they have had various physical problems which have been remedied with VitaePro. According to the Consumer Ombudsman, the company uses assertions in the marketing that is contrary to EU law and the Swedish Marketing Act (2008:486).
This is not the first time that Vitaelab’s marketing is in the attention of the Swedish authorities. In 2011, the Consumer Agency criticized Vitaelab for using health claims contrary to current EU law. The company then agreed to some of the Consumer Agency’s requirements, but not to all. In December 2012, legislation was tightened after the EC Regulation on nutrition and health claims on food (1924/2006) was supplemented with a list of approved health claims. It was after the list entered into force that the Consumer Agency decided to revisit the issue of Vitaelab’s marketing. As indicated in previous Roschier Food Industry Reviews, this action confirms the increased vigilance showed by Swedish authorities against health claims.