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Product: Food and Beverages
Advertiser: 12 Quail Farm
Medium: Leaflet, Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 11.1, 11.5
The website referred to the following:
“BENEFITS OF QUAIL EGGS
• Are a remedy against digestive tract disorders such as gastritis, stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer.
• Can help cure anemia increasing hemoglobin (sic) level and remove toxins and heavy metals from blood.
• Help in the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, diabetes and vegetative-vascular dystonia.
• Have strong anticancer effects and may help inhibit cancerous growth.
• May accelerate recuperation after heart stroke and help strengthen heart muscles.
• Are a powerful stimulant of sexual potency. They nourish the prostrate (sic) gland with useful substances, phosphorus, proteins and vitamins and therefore help restore sexual potency in men.
• Promote good memory, enhance brain activity and regulate the nervous system.
• Strengthen the immune system slow down aging of organs and increase the life span.
• Improve skin color and strengthen hair making it shiny and voluminous that’s why quail eggs are used for facial and hair care masks.
Quail eggs are proved to be a very valuable source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12 and vitamin D, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and other essential micro-nutrients, minerals and amino acids both omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which is why they are recommended for regular consumption…
Quail eggs are considered to be one of the best known natural treatment products. Chinese medical practitioners have been using quail eggs as a treatment for hundreds of years with brilliant results. As quail eggs are slowly becoming an easy to get product on the market more and more people are beginning to show interest in their use as an active natural medicine instead of the chemical products with so many side effects…
The interesting thing about these eggs is that you can eat them raw. There is no risk of salmonella because the quail’s body temperature is much higher than that of a chicken. In addition, they cannot become contaminated and infected because they contain a substance called lysozyme. Lysozyme kills bacteria. Many experts recommend that you consume the eggs raw, or boil them briefly for less than 30 seconds so that the yolk remains raw. Sometimes heat from cooking can destroy valuable nutrition.”
The leaflet contained additional claims and referred to the following:
“Between other protein containing foods the quail eggs contain the richest variety and mixture of amino acids that are indispensable for the healthy growth and development of children, adolescents and young adults. Quail eggs promote good memory, enhance brain activity, regulate the nervous system, have strong anticancer effects and may help inhibit cancerous growths…
If kids eat at least 2 quail eggs daily, they grow better and are less likely to suffer from infectious diseases!... As quail eggs are slowly becoming an easy to get product on the market more and more people are beginning to show interest in their use as an active natural medicine instead of the chemical products with so many side effects.”
One complainant considered the claims made in the advertising to be inaccurate and misleading. She raised concerns that some consumers may use the product to treat a medical condition, rather than seeking medical advice. She queried whether the advertiser had substantiation for the claims referenced.
A second complainant concurred with the first complainant’s concerns. She also considered that the advertiser had made reference to serious illnesses and appeared to be encouraging people to use quail eggs for such illnesses as opposed to “chemical products with so many side effects”. This complainant also queried the reference to the fact that the eggs were immune to contamination because they have lysozyme in them.
The advertiser said that she had experienced health issues herself and that it was through the consumption of quail eggs that these issues were resolved. She said that there was information available in public libraries and on the internet in relation to the benefits of quail eggs should the complainants wish to source further information on the topic. She also said the benefits of quail eggs were based on scientific research and there was a link provided to this research on her website.
The Executive reviewed the studies on the advertiser’s website and drew the advertiser’s attention to Section 11.1 of the Code and asked her to identify precisely where, in the research links referenced on her website, the relevant substantiation for the benefits of quail eggs (as indicated in her advertising) was available.
The advertiser said that the complainants needed to click on the link (1) provided on her website to obtain the relevant research. She also said that considering the specific variety of nutrients and vitamins that quail eggs contained that it was logical that they helped in cases of health disorders caused by lack of such nutrients.
The advertiser also provided a link to a YouTube video on “Using quail eggs to treat just about anything”. She said that the person in the video referenced www.ovogenics.eu (2) and the complainant could click on this website to view further information and research on the subject.
(2) OVOGENICS is a Belgian company active in the healthcare sector. It looks for and develops innovative products based on specific enzymes contained in quail's eggs (ovogenica strain). http://www.ovogenics.eu/en/categorie/qui-sommes-nous-en.htm
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaints and the advertiser’s response. They noted the serious medical conditions referenced within the advertising and the fact that the advertiser had not provided relevant substantiation (including the results of robust and reputable trials on human subjects) for the claim that quail eggs were beneficial in the treatment of or curing the serious medical conditions referenced.
The Committee noted that the Code provides that “specific advice on, diagnosis of or treatment” for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought should not be offered in advertising, unless that advice, diagnosis or treatment is conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. For the purposes of the Code health professionals are considered suitably qualified if they are regulated by a statutory body recognised by the Irish State.
The Committee also noted that the advertiser had not provided substantiation for the claim that quail eggs “cannot become contaminated and infected because they contain a substance called lysozyme”.
As relevant substantiation for the claims in the advertising had not been submitted, the Committee considered the advertising to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 11.1 and 11.5 of the Code.
ACTION REQUIRED: The advertisement should not be used in the same format again.