• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Court says no to misleading Nutella labels

The Local · 18 Nov 2011, 12:15

Published: 18 Nov 2011 12:15 GMT+01:00

Frankfurt’s Higher Regional Court ruled this week that producer Ferrero had to change the Nutella label. Each transgression of the ruling would attract a fine of €250,000 - if it is upheld by a higher court on appeal.

The labels currently show the percentage of a person’s daily requirement Nutella provides in two different sections.

The share of daily requirements of vitamin provided by Nutella - between 30 and 78 percent – can only be achieved by eating 100 grams. Yet the low share of carbohydrate and fat (3 percent and 7 percent respectively) printed on the labels are contained in just 15 grams of Nutella.

Complaints from consumer protection organisations against the firm were upheld by a lower court, which said the labelling was misleading, but Ferrero appealed the decision – and said on Thursday it would do the same against the latest ruling, taking the case to the Federal Courts of Justice.

“The consumer looks first of all on the percentage figures,” said Susanne Einsiedler, legal expert from the Federal Association of Consumer Associations (VZVB).

This view was shared by the court which said that consumers would not generally have the time while shopping to realise the difference between the measures referred – creating a relevant deceit.

A product which supposedly contains small amounts of substances such as sugar and fat but high levels of vitamins and minerals would be considered particularly valuable, the court said.

Ferrero Deutschland said it remained convinced the labels were transparent and understandable, and conformed to the law. But it also said it would voluntarily change them at the end of the year, making all values relate to portions.

The company has long been a target for consumer protection groups which have criticised its sponsorship of sporting events and use of sports personalities – including the German national football team – in advertising. This links what they say are fundamentally unhealthy products with the idea of sports and health.

Ferrero’s Kinderreiegel little chocolate bars are sold with the slogan, “Extra portion of milk with much good calcium” – but consumer protection group Foodwatch has calculated that a child would have to eat 13 of the bars to get a daily requirement of calcium. This would also involve consuming the equivalent of 48 cubes of sugar and half a packet of butter, the group claimed.

Story continues below…

The popular Milch-Schnitte bars, also made by Ferrero have too come under fire from Foodwatch, which has described them as "calorie bombs."

The law is clear in banning misleading food labelling and advertising. The consumer protections and the Consumer Ministry have cooperated to launch the internet site www.lebensmittelklarheit.de where consumers are invited to make submissions of product information they feel are misleading.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:53 November 18, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Brussels also says Water is NOT Healthy, nor is it Hydrating.
18:06 November 18, 2011 by Englishted
Yes I read that as well .

derExDeutsche
19:03 November 18, 2011 by derExDeutsche
I wonder how much these studies cost the German Taxpayer? Although, surely, no price tag can be put on paradise.

Obviously, in Brussels, kool-aid needs to first be added to the water.
21:48 November 18, 2011 by JohnnesKönig
The courts may have authority over these matters, but do they have 'Credibility?'...
Today's headlines
Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Germany-denying beauty king fights cops with guns, teeth
Left: Adrian Ursache in his glam days as the 1998 Mr. Germany. Right: Police trying to evict him from his own 'country'. Photos: DPA.

Former Mr. Germany winner and founder of a group that denies the existence of Germany refused to be evicted, provoking a shootout - and bite-out - with police.

Politicians renew call to bring Snowden to Germany
Photo: GUARDIAN / GLENN GREENWALD / LAURA POITRAS.

Green and Die Linke (Left Party) politicians are asking that NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden be allowed into Germany for an ongoing investigation.

Merkel urged to address Turkmenistan rights record
Angela Merkel with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Photo: DPA

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring up major rights violations, including a "policy of disappearances", when Germany hosts the president of Turkmenistan next week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,546
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd