Tag Archives: diabetes

Failed Le Chocolatier interdict against WhaleTales Blog sets Social Media defamation precedent!

Last year I was subject to an urgent interdict in the Western Cape High Court with a demand to remove a Blogpost about the misleading packaging which Le Chocolatier had used for its chocolate slabs, claiming them to be sugar-free and Banting-friendly. In a landmark case in terms of freedom of speech and defamation in digital Social Media, Judge Dennis Davis refused the demand for my Blogpost to be taken down, with only two sentences required to be removed from the Blogpost. The case sets a precedent for future cases regarding defamation on Social Media platforms. Continue reading →

Banting new Cape Town food craze on everyone’s lips, thanks to Professor Tim Noakes!

Banting Tim Noakes Whale CottageLast week I attended a presentation by Professor Tim Noakes on ‘The Science behind Banting Diets’, which was organised by PR-Net and held on the top floor of the Naspers building.   I went as a sceptic, but it appeared that almost all attendees were already committed Banters.

I have not followed the initial controversy about Professor Tim Noakes, co-founder of the Sport Science Institute, who published ‘The Real Meal Revolution‘ in which he advocates a ‘LCHF‘ (Low ‘Carb‘ High Fat) balanced diet eating focus to help one lose weight.  While ‘LCHF’ was not a very catchy a name for the diet, the ‘Banting‘ word spread like wildfire, being the name of a diet tried with success by William Banting more than 200 years ago. Professor Noakes was not believed initially, given that he had advocated a low fat, high carbohydrate eating plan in the past, and now was turned his thinking around 360°!  The medical fraternity is not sure whether to support his recommendations.

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Food labelling now more honest and detailed!

The new Department of Health food labelling regulations, Regulations Relating to Labelling and Advertising of Foodstuffs, No R146 of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act of 1972, which came into effect two weeks ago, are a welcome benefit for consumers, in that labelling will now be far more honest with regard to product content and its health benefits.

Claims such as ‘fat-free’, ‘low-fat’, ‘100% fruit juice’, ‘0% cholesterol’, ‘wholesome’, ‘balanced nutrition’, ‘nutritious’, and ‘healthy’ are now illegal. The percentage of major ingredients in a product must be specified. A berry juice, called that and depicted with berry illustrations on the packs, must prominently display the berry as well as the apple juice content, the latter being the basis of most fruit juices. Even more importantly, any ingredient making up less than 2% of the content by weight may not be emphasised, reports the Cape Times.  Any implied health benefits of a product are illegal.  ‘High in fibre’, ‘low fat’, and ‘sugar free’ claims on packs must be supported by the mandatory nutritional table.

The regulations dictate that the name of the product must be a minimum 4 mm in size, may not contain a misleading photograph or illustration, must list the ingredients in descending order of weight, product claims must be supported by the nutritional table, allergens must be listed, the name and address of the manufacturer and/or distributor must be stated, the net content must be shown, the batch identification number must be displayed, a ‘use by’ date is mandatory, and instructions for use must be provided.  Claims relating to diabetes must be supported by low GI, lower fat, and/or lower sodium information.

Food retailers appear divided about the food labelling regulations, Pick ‘n Pay expressing its support of the legislation in that it would carry products with full information disclosure, while Shoprite is said by Business Report to be critical of the legislation, due to it being too complex, it being inconsistent, not being fully inclusive, and being ambiguous.  The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa is addressing the retailers’ concerns about the legislation.

Despite the implementation of the regulations having been known for two years, Pick ‘n Pay Franschhoek was out of stock of its Pick ‘n Pay-branded Greek yogurt yesterday, a manger saying that the supplier is fixing its packaging in accordance with the labelling legislation, and therefore the product will not be available for another two weeks or so.

The new food labelling regulations, which apply to dog and cat food too, are a welcome benefit for consumers, in that it will remove deception and confusion about products’ ingredients and their health benefits.  The regulations apply to advertising of foodstuffs too, preventing puffery and misleading claims in this regard too.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage