New Zealand’s Commerce Commission recently issued a warning against providers of products and services advertised with claims that they could help cure food allergies. According toRadio New Zealand,alternative health providers will face prosecution if they use scientifically unproven claims, such as proving that their product will cure food allergies.
The commission began its investigation of such products after a complaint by a food allergy support group that said some alternative health providers had been advertising unproven methods as a way to cure allergies. Such products may seem promising for those who are tired of avoiding their allergen, but in reality cannot stop the body from reacting when an allergen is consumed.
Spokesman Greg Allan also said that such claims pose substantial health risks, particularly if people consume an allergen on the basis that they believe themselves to be cured of the allergy. In such situations, people could experience life-threatening allergic reactions. He also noted that some people could fail to seek emergency medical care if under the care of an alternative health provider who has assured them that the allergen will do no harm. According to the commission, people claiming to cure food allergies could also be violating the Fair Trading Act.
In light of the warning, the Commerce Commission expects those advertising such products or services to review their marketing materials and strategies.