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Amazon banned from selling food supplements as ‘slimming aids’ without evidence

Amazon has been banned from selling food supplements categorised under ‘Slimming Aids and Weight Loss’ for being misleading to the customer.

Upon investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Amazon said that category heading operated as a “signpost”, allowing customers to navigate through the website, however, the retailer added that the headings did not properly “represent product information” and were not “directly connected” with the supply or transfer of goods.

The ASA said the heading must not appear again in its current form and told Amazon to ensure that it did not place food supplements in the ‘Slimming Aids and Weight Loss’ category, unless it held evidence that the products were capable of carrying an “equivalent health claim” that was authorised on the EU Register.

In response, Amazon said: “We considered that consumers would understand the claim ‘slimming aids & weight loss’ to imply a relationship between the food supplements in the category and a benefit to health; specifically that the supplements could aid or cause slimming/weight loss.

“While we disagree with the ASA’s assessment we have removed the ‘Slimming Aids & Weight Loss’ category heading from our website.”

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