Advertising Standards Authority Adjudication
16 September 2002
1 Churchwood Gardens
Objection to a leaflet that was headlined "FOOD INTOLERANCE TESTING.
VITAMIN AND MINERAL DEFICIENCY". Beside a picture of a machine, the
leaflet listed "Chronic Sinusitis? Irritable Bowel? Hay Fever? Migraine?
Chronic Fatigue? Eczema? Hyperactivity? Diarrhoea? Abdominal Bloating? Repeated
Infections/Colds? Candida? ...". The leaflet stated "... COMPLETE
TEST FOR TODAYS HIDDEN HEALTH PROBLEMS. The complementary Approach!! Bio-Energetic
Testing Taking us into 21st century ... Our Testing Procedure is one of the
latest developments in food sensitivity testing ... Many people suffer from
health problems such as eczema, stomach problems, irritable bowel syndrome,
candidiasis and mood swings ... We believe in the holistic approach in preventative
healthcare and also provide safe and commonsense nutritional information
by the process of elimination. Thus allowing your body a chance to respond
to this programme. We must point out, however, that our test is an alternative,
non-invasive procedure. It is NOT a medical diagnosis, nor does it pretend
to be so ...". The complainant challenged the efficacy of the technique.
Codes section: 3.1, 7.1, 50.1, 50.2, 50.3
The advertisers sent a published study about electrodermal (ED) testing using Vega II equipment and an article about the development of the Vega device. They believed the study showed that the device diagnosed allergies. The Authority noted the study tested for dust mite allergen and concluded that the "results indicate that ED testing is a promising technique and should be the subject of further scientific studies". The Authority understood that other studies, the outcome of which had been published in medical journals, disagreed that the device could detect food allergies. The Authority considered that because the advertisers had provided one study of one allergy only and because there were studies that disputed the system's efficacy, the evidence provided was insufficient to support the claim. It asked the advertisers to withdraw the advertisement and take advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice Copy Advice team before advertising again.
Advertising Standards Authority,
Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6QT, United Kingdom
This article was posted on August 8, 2007.