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Iceland forced to withdraw ad that claimed Irish food authority was "unaccredited"

The British Advertising Standards Authority said that an ad that claimed horse meat had not been found in Iceland’s burgers “denigrated” the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Image: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

FROZEN FOOD CHAIN Iceland has been forced to pull a newspaper ad that denied that any of its products had contained horse meat.

The company’s burgers had been found to contain 0.1 per cent equine DNA by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, but the company took out an ad in a British newspaper that said that these tests were untrustworthy.

Stating that no horse meat had been found in their British beef burgers, the ad carries text saying “The testing method used by the FSAI was not an accredited test.

“Two subsequent tests of the same batch of burgers carried out by two accredited independent laboratories found no evidence of contamination,” the ad reads.

A reader of the newspaper complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain, who ordered that the ad not be repeated. The ASA said that Iceland had altered the ad after being contacted by the FSAI, but said that the ad “denigrated” the FSAI.

“We told Iceland to ensure their advertising did not discredit or denigrate organisations in future,” said the ASA.

“We considered that … the overall impression created by the ad was that the FSAI had not taken due care to ensure the accuracy or validity of the tests used, and therefore that its findings were questionable.

We understood that was not the case. We concluded the ad discredited the FSAI and therefore breached the code.

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