Sports nutrition firm fined for beefing up product benefits claims
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A sports nutrition and supplements company has been fined £100,000 for making false claims about their benefits.
Colchester-based Sport Supplements Limited, trading as Bulk Powders, was also ordered to pay more than £7,100 costs by Colchester Magistrates Court as a result of an Essex Trading Standards Investigation.
The conviction comes following the investigation during 2019 and the sentencing is in relation to 30 charges.
Magistrates considered an assessment of culpability and harm, and after the business failed to act on advice and guidance from officers on seven separate occasions following a series of complaints, found culpability for the offences was high.
They noted there was potential for consumers to be misled into paying more for products than they would for similar foods available to buy on the high street
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A selection of products available from the business were formally sampled and analysed.
Of that selection, a total of 55 breaches of labelling legislation were reported.
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The majority of the breaches focused on claims made about the nutritional and health benefits of the food products.
The level of protein in some of the products was found insufficient to make the health claim "protein contributes to the growth of muscle mass" or the nutrition claim "source of protein" - significant, particularly amongst the fitness community for whom these types of claims are important when buying a product.
Essex Trading Standards brought the prosecution under the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007.
Susan Barker, Essex County Council cabinet member for customer, corporate, culture and communities said on Wednesday February 5 at the conclusion of the case "Today's sentencing sends a clear message to businesses that misleading consumers will not be tolerated and that they have a duty to protect the people who buy their products.
"Essex Trading Standards has an ongoing commitment to support residents who should feel confident that they can rely on the information provided in the form of food labels and commercial websites."
Sports Supplements Ltd has been trading for 13 years and employs around 150 staff at their premises at Gunfleet business park in Brunel Way, with a new office recently opened in London.
They have around 300 products in the range and these are primarily sold directly to consumers via the Bulk Powders website.
The company has been approached for comment.