Food advertising requirements
Claims that reference science or studies
References to scientific literature, media reports, general publications or surveys must be used with care to avoid misleading or deceiving the consumer.
The term "laboratory" suggests scientific personnel, scientific equipment and scientific research. It would be misleading to imply that a company maintains a laboratory unless actual laboratory functions are carried out by, or under, the direct supervision of, qualified scientific personnel.
Scientific and technical references and terms
Statistics and references from technical literature are usually unsuitable for commercial advertising. In cases where the subject is controversial or where there are differences of scientific opinion, it is misleading to choose only favourable opinions with no indication that an equally-competent authority has given an unfavourable opinion. Any scientific and/or technical references are subject to the provisions of all relevant acts and regulations.
Scientific and technical terms may not be properly understood by the public. Therefore, they should be avoided in labelling or advertising directed at the general public, unless fully explained.
Reference to media reports and publications
In food labelling and advertisements, it is not acceptable to quote from press reports, magazines or other publications if the quoted statement would not be permissible under federal food legislation. In general, the same applies to references from government publications. Even if the information is factual, the wording on food labels or in advertisements must be in compliance. In some cases, quotations taken out of context can be considered misleading.
Reference to surveys and questionnaire
Surveys and questionnaires are used to obtain opinions on foods from selected groups of consumers. Opinions on flavour, texture, taste and appearance of foods are usually not objectionable if the claims can be substantiated and are not derogatory. For example, claims such as "Canadians say that Super brand orange juice is the best tasting," must be supported by an adequate survey. On the other hand, claims such as, "Our product is the best tasting" could require substantiation or else be open to competitive challenge.
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