Food giant Heinz has been found guilty of engaging in false and misleading behaviour by marketing a high sugar product as healthy for toddlers.

The court found the company ought to have known Little Kidz Shredz were not nutritionally beneficial, because they were almost 70 percent sugar.

“It’s more similar to confectionary than it is to fruit,” Obesity Policy Coalition Executive Manager Jane Martin, whose complaint about the product prompted the ACCC to launch legal action in 2016, said.

This judgement is yet another example of multinational food corporations attempting to mislead consumers with unfounded claims that their product is a “healthier alternative”.

By bombarding the market through mass advertising and distribution, these companies actually succeed in having customers believe they are doing the right thing for their familiy’s health and well-being by purchasing these products.

Consumers should be sceptical when looking at products which claim to contain “real fruit and vegetables”. Instead, they should actively seek fresh fruit and vegetables from their local greengrocer to experience the taste, quality and all the associated health benefits that come with eating independently-sourced fresh produce.

Heinz Australia and New Zealand CEO Bruno Lino responded to the judgement saying “we never had the intention of misleading consumers” and “we are currently reviewing it (the judgement) very carefully to see if there is anything else, we can learn from it.”

Heinz will be fined for breaching the Australian Consumer Law, an offence which can attract a penalty of up to $1.1 million.

It will also have to issue a public declaration of wrong doing, stating that it mislead consumers in regards to the health benefits of Shredz.

Original article by 9News

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