Maharashtra FDA sues Complan over advertisement

Written by: Devaki
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Mumbai, Jul 9: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Maharashtra filed a charge-sheet against the advertising claim of health drink, Complan that it can add two inches to the children's height. The charge was sued in the Mazgaon metropolitan magistrate's court, reports a leading news paper.

The charge-sheet of FDA include seven officials of Heinz India Pvt Ltd in the petition dated May 3, 2010, alleging them over providing 'exaggerated advertisement on television channels'.

Heinz India denied any knowledge about the case. "We are not aware of any such complaint having been filed. We stand by our claim and would defend the same with appropriate research study," said Heinz India officials in an email response.

FDA complained against the company for violating the provisions of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 and Rules. The charge-sheet also explained that it issued the company a show-cause notice after it received a complaint from the Consumers' Action on Safety and Health (ACASH) about the exaggerated claims.

ACASH official Dr Arun Bal said that their complaint against Complan is a continuation of their monitoring of the infant market. The government had asked ACASH to monitor violations, while passing the Infant Milk Food Act and ACASH feels this is a case in point, he added.

Complan explained in an email response that their claim is based on an independent scientific study conducted by the Department of Food Science and Nutrition of a reputed university in Tamil Nadu. It said the study proved that the children who drink Complan along with regular diet grow significantly faster in height compared to those who had only regular, but not properly planned diet.

The company said that the study was peer-reviewed and conducted on 900 Indian children in the 7-12 year age groups over a period of one year. "The participating children attending schools included an equal number of boys and girls who were matched for age, height, weight and socio-economic status at the beginning of the study, to allow comparison after the year-long Complan supplementation," it explained.

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