ASA banned an Iceland foods advert published in the ‘i’ newspaper after it deemed it was discrediting and denigrating towards the Irish food safety watchdog Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
The advert headed ‘Food You Can Trust’, questioned FSAI’s testing methods, alleging that they were all unaccredited, ASA ruled.
The advert claimed: “No horsemeat has ever been found in an Iceland product. All our burgers are made in the UK from British beef.”
It went on to state: “Recent testing by the FSAI found traces of equine DNA at one tenth of 1% in two Iceland Quarter Pounder burgers. The testing method used by the FSAI was not an accredited test and the current accepted threshold level is 1% (10 times the level reported in the Iceland product).”
The ASA said: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Iceland to ensure their advertising did not discredit or denigrate organisations in future.”
The FSAI said the advert was misleading because the statement that no horsemeat had ever been found in an Iceland product was contradicted by an acknowledgement that two of its burgers had been found to contain 0.1% equine DNA. It also argued the advert denigrated the FSAI.
Frozen food retailer Iceland claimed the UK Food Standards Authority had agreed with retailers that a threshold level of 1% would be applied to distinguish between gross adulteration and trace levels of DNA.