Asda is fined over mango claims

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The supermarket giant Asda was fined £5,000 yesterday after admitting making illegal claims about the anti-cancer properties of its mangoes.

The supermarket giant Asda was fined £5,000 yesterday after admitting making illegal claims about the anti-cancer properties of its mangoes.

Asda was taken to court after a trading standards officer in Swindon saw a signabout the fruit that read: "Their antioxidant properties help to fight cancer." Any labelling which claims that a food prevents, treats or cures a disease is prohibited. Asda pleaded guilty. It had argued, in Swindon magistrates' court, that the sign was a genuine mistake and that the claim was illegal, but true. The company was fined £5,000 with a further £1,140 in costs.

Swindon Borough Council's senior trading standards officer, Russell Sharland, wrote to Asda in June last year. Phillip Wirth, the council's lawyer, saidthe letter was "ignored" until the end of October when Asda's trading law manager, Gordon Madden, wrote to say the sign had been prepared by a nutritionist to further the Government's "five a day", healthy-eating campaign.