Pesticide tea: has no therapeutic properties, fine for misleading advertising

The FitoBalt Monastic Tea boasted the power to prevent and fight parasitic infections and to improve the functionality of the organism. Misleading claims for which the Antitrust intervened.

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FitoBalt Pesticide Tea. Misleading information and incorrect practice: the Antitrust sanctions the well-known herbal product

Its name is FitoBalt Monastic Tea and it would be "a 100% effective pesticide". But that's not quite the case: on the contrary, for the Antitrust it is a misleading claim and for this reason it fined both the manufacturer and the Digital Laboratory company for 25 thousand euros, which sold that product on its website for a limited period of time.

Sold online, this one tea boasted the power to prevent and fight parasitic infections and to improve the functionality of the organism. A real misleading promotion for the Guarantor who sanctioned the messages with which the FitoBalt Monastic Tea was advertised online.

There are two penalties for for a total of 25 thousand euros: one to the Digital Laboratory for 5 thousand euros, as a professional active in promotion and digital marketing, and one for 20 thousand euros to Alexander Kazachkov as a professional active in the online sale of products.

The proceeding concerned the misleading promotion and the dissemination by the two professionals of incorrect information on the "characteristics and nature of the product, according to which the consumption of tea can, on the one hand, prevent and combat parasitic infections and, on the other, improve the overall functionality of the 'body. Furthermore, the absence of clear indications on the identity, role and geographical address of the professionals is taken into consideration, or other elements that allow the consumer the possibility of contacting them in order to exercise their rights ", as stated in the bulletin.

The Antitrust also disputed the fact that in that advertising communication there was talk of a product for which the purchase was made no medical prescription would be needed by virtue of its characteristics and the ingredients that compose it (birch leaves, oak bark, calendula, peppermint, tansy, wormwood, chamomile, ulignosa, yarrow, agrimony, medical sage). That is, it is expressly stated that the advantage of pesticide tea consists in the fact that, for the purpose of its purchase, it is not necessary to carry out a medical examination and the intake of the product in question would be suitable not only for killing "harmful organisms", but also for "Restoring damaged tissues and removing a" intoxication ".

One of the disputed claims

The particular curative efficacy of the product highlighted repeatedly on the site is also strengthened by the emphasis of the claim such as: "in 100% of cases the antiparasitic tea freed patients from parasites or helped them to significantly reduce their number (in case of strong infections) ". In the message the alleged therapeutic capacity it is reinforced by the slogan that the product is "certified and clinically tested".

In short, for the Competition Guarantor it is nothing other than misleading messages.

"These statements are capable of inducing consumers to erroneously believe that the product has therapeutic properties that, in reality, cannot be claimed by the manufacturer, in consideration of the characteristics of the product and of the ingredients that compose it".

Only incorrect claims, explains the Antitrust, which also contrast with Regulation (EU) 1169/2011. A case of improper commercial practice for which the two sanctions were decided.

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Germana Carillo

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