‘Cleanse juices’ using false claims in adverts

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‘Cleanse juices’ using false claims in adverts


Twenty-five cleanse juice products and 97 sellers available on 218 online sites have been exaggerating or making false advertisements about the effect of such products, according to a list disclosed by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Tuesday.

The ministry warned that it would scrutinize the monitoring of these cleanse juice producers and take punitive administrative measures, such as a sales ban, or file charges against them should they continue with promoting false or exaggerated advertisements.

Of the advertisements, 64 percent were caught for making false claims such as the juices’ ability to detoxify the body, 21 percent were found to potentially be mistaken for natural health products and 16 percent falsely promoted their products as being able to cure or prevent cancer and other diseases.

“The so-called cleanse juices are not particularly more nutritious compared to regular vegetable and fruit juices and have not been scientifically proven to have weight loss and detox effects,” said the ministry.

Findings on studies of cleanse juices sold online showed that these cleanse juices carried similar amounts of calories, sodium and sugar as ordinary juices.

Riding the global wave of detoxing, producers of cleanse juices have sprouted in Korea and these juices have attracted popularity among health-conscious consumers.

Producers charge hefty prices for a bundle of juices - normally packaged as a week or a month-long supply - that are multiple times the price of regular juices. For instance, a bundle containing six cleanse juices from a local brand sell for 23,000 won ($20), meaning a 190-milliliter (6.4-ounce) bottle costs 3,800 won. By comparison, ordinary orange or carrot juices from brands such as Lotte and Pulmuone cost around 1,200 won for the same amount.

The Korean Nutrition Society also argues that cleanse juices have no “scientifically proven” effects.

“It is a generally acknowledged fact that taking a proper amount of fruit and vegetables daily is healthy,” said the society in a release. “There is no proof that cleansing juices are more effective in weight loss, antioxidation, anti-aging and detox.”

The Korean Society for the Study of Obesity went so far as to claim that juice cleanses as a replacement for meals could actually make customers more obese and have a negative impact on nutrition.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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