Naija Foodie Update

FOODIE NAIJA UPDATE (CPC INVESTIGATES NIGERIANS BREWERIES , HEALTH CLAIMS ON BEER CONSUMPTION)

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has commenced
investigation into the claims of the Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) on nutritional, health
and therapeutic benefits of beer consumption.

CPC has also issued the company 14-day ultimatum to
substantiate its claims which the agency said was capable of luring unsuspecting
consumers into
unwholesome consumption of the product.

The Consumer agency had however notified Nigerian Breweries of the commencement of its
investigation of the
company’s claims while quoting relevant sections of
its law mandating it to protect consumers from misleading advertisement or
information on any consumer item, among others.

The Council, in a letter signed by its Director General, Mrs.
Dupe Atoki, listed some of the claims, which include that
beer is not an alcoholic beverage and that if taken
regularly and in moderation has many defined nutritional
and health benefits and can indeed be part of a healthy
life style.

Other claims by the company also include that “beer
consumption has therapeutic
qualities such as prevention of kidney stones, increase in
anti-oxidant activity in the body, reduction in the risk of heart disease and blood
pressure management”.

The government agency expressed its reservation that
the claims “in effect suggest that beer is a health drink and have the potential to lure
unsuspecting consumers into
unwholesome consumption of the product”, and
therefore gave Nigerian Breweries 14 days to respond to the notice with
relevant documents and to show proof of certification of
its claims and registration with relevant agencies.

Atoki, while commenting on
the development, said the Council’s impending
investigation of the
company’s alleged claims became inevitable in view of
its mandate to ensure
information put out to consumers are not
misleading and to also check
obnoxious practices or the unscrupulous exploitation of
consumers by companies, firms and trade associations
or individuals.

She pointed out that, in conducting the investigation, the Council would collaborate with the National Agency for
Food and Drug
Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which is the
specific regulator for the sector, and the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to her, “NAFDAC and the ministry have been
appropriately communicated to on the development and
the CPC’s decision to
investigate the veracity of the claims for the nenefits of
Nigerian consumers.”

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