Illegal Cancer Claims Cost Leamington Spa Business £10,500

A Leamington Spa business made illegal claims the foods they sold could treat and prevent cancer, fight diabetes, lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease.

Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service brought the prosecution after the business, Pure and Raw Ltd and its Director Mrs Ravinder Aujla, repeatedly failed to heed the advice of Trading Standards Officers.

Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:

“Warwickshire Trading Standards is keen to protect people living with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions from businesses that make illegal claims about the foods they sell.”

When Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers became aware of the claims being made by Pure and Raw, (77 Regent St, Leamington Spa), at their shop and on their website, Officers offered help and advice.

The business was making health claims that they were not legally allowed to make, including:

  • Flax oil helps to fight against breast cancer
  • Ginger can treat ovarian cancer
  • Goji berries protect against heart disease
  • Kale has anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects, and
  • Beetroot lowers blood pressure

The business was unwilling to remove or change the unauthorised statements they were making about their foods.

At Nuneaton Magistrates Court on 28th August 2018 Pure and Raw Ltd of Pegasus House, Pegasus Court, Tachbrook Park, Warwick pleaded guilty to 12 offences under regulation 5(1) of the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007. Mrs Ravinder Aujla, Director of Pure and Raw also pleaded guilty to 12 offences under regulation 5(1) of the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007.

The company was fined £500 per offence plus a victim surcharge of £50, a total of £6,050. Mrs Aujla was fined £200 per offence plus a £30 victim surcharge, plus costs of £2,022.57, a total of £4452.57.

The Chairman of the Bench said that the law was precise and well-regulated and that Mrs Aujla had fallen foul of it repeatedly. She had failed to respond to prolonged input from Trading Standards who had offered good advice on a number of occasions.

In mitigation, Mr Ekwall Tiwana, representing both Pure and Raw Ltd and Ravinder Aujla said that Mrs Aujla was passionate about her business and was very remorseful. He added that the business had now hired a compliance officer, a food and health expert who understood how to run the company properly.