Tue, Feb 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

City health agency warns of false food advertising

MIRACLE CURE:Taipei’s Department of Health said more than half of the misleading ads last year promoted products that had ‘medicinal properties’

Staff Writer, with CNA

Fish collagen topped the list of products most frequently subject to misleading advertisement in Taipei, health authorities said yesterday, calling on consumers to avoid purchasing goods that sound too good to be true.

Of the 1,576 cases of misleading food advertising discovered last year, 117 touted edible fish collagen as having medicinal properties for the treatment of arthritis and joint pains, Taipei City’s Department of Health said.

The department also found that 52.92 percent of the inaccurate ads last year promoted products that purportedly had medicinal effects, while 33.38 percent were for items that claimed to have slimming and weight-loss properties, said Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美), acting chief of the department’s Food and Drug Division.

“The current trend in misleading advertising is to market the curative effects of products rather than their ability to enhance beauty,” she said.

She said advertisements containing misleading and inaccurate information last year mostly appeared on television, in newspapers, magazines and leaflets, in that order.

“It was unusual, but we did not find as many advertising scams on the Internet,” she said.

Chiang reminded the public to safeguard their health by rejecting exaggerated advertisement and not buying products that are not clearly labeled.

The department is holding workshops for the mass media and manufacturers of food, drugs and cosmetics, to push for better management to cut down on the incidence of misleading advertising, she said.

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