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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 00:59 GMT 01:59 UK
WWF rapped for 'alarming' advert
WWF
Conservation charity, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, has been criticised by the advertising watchdog for an "alarming" advert about chemicals in food.

The WWF's advert was for a campaign highlighting the risks of toxins to people's health.

But the Advertising Standards Authority said it implied all man-made chemicals may cause health problems.

The advert was headed: "Who cares where toxic chemicals end up?"

Worrying to mothers

Alongside the picture of a foetus was the wording: "The womb should be the safest place on earth.

"But today our bodies are contaminated with over 300 man-made chemicals, to which our great-grandparents were never exposed."

The ASA said the newspaper advert could prove "unduly alarming" to mothers with young children or those considering having a baby.


Some pollutants have been linked with birth defects in people and wildlife

WWF advert

The watchdog said it had upheld two complaints about the advert but rejected a further five.

The advert concluded: "Many of these pollutants are found in intensively farmed food or everyday products and some have been linked with birth defects in people and wildlife."

The ASA judged that the advert misleadingly implied all 300 man-made chemicals could be found in individual humans rather than people in general.

It also criticised the WWF for implying these chemicals could cause health problems when this had not been proven.

In its defence, WWF-UK said the aim of the advert was to "heighten awareness of a real concern" but stressed it did not intend to "cause undue alarm or distress or to mislead".

The charity said the "impact of man-made chemicals on people and wildlife" was something on which it had campaigned for many years.

See also:

18 Dec 00 | UK
19 Jun 02 | Health
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