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Greens Will Appeal Tegel Ad Ruling

Green MP Sue Kedgley today said she would be appealing the decision to turn down her complaint against Tegel's 'exploding the myth' ads.

Ms Kedgley complained to the Advertising Standards Complaints Board in February about Tegel's 'pure, natural, healthy, barn raised and growth hormone free' advertisements, claiming the ads were misleading.

"The Board appears to have relied on technical definitions of 'pure and natural' from within the poultry industry itself in deciding on this complaint," said Ms Kedgley. "It should have followed common sense and considered the accepted, common usage of words that we all speak, every day.

"There is nothing 'pure and natural' about feeding chickens antibiotics in their feed and water everyday and it is cynical to promote chickens as free of growth hormones when antibiotics routinely fed to chickens make them grow faster," she said.

"In the eyes of consumers there is no way that 26,000 chickens in one shed, each trapped in a space equivalent to an A4 piece of paper, constitutes 'barn raised'.

"The Board may think the use of these terms is appropriate, but the public must be the real court of opinion and I do not believe for a minute that Tegel's promotions match the public's understanding of the words."

Ms Kedgley said the Board had ignored its responsibility under the Code of Ethics to ensure that an advertisement did not 'contain any statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive.'

"This decision is bad news for consumers because it gives food producers license to use words which mean one thing to most consumers and something completely different to the producers.

"What's next - adverts claiming that chlorinated water is 'pure and natural?'

"It also brings into question the way we sell New Zealand internationally. If Tegel's chickens are pure and natural then what does that say about how we promote New Zealand as '100 per cent pure'?"


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