Leamington business fined more than £10,000 after claiming food could prevent cancer

Pure and Raw in Regent Street in Leamington. Photo from Google Street View.
Pure and Raw in Regent Street in Leamington. Photo from Google Street View.

A Leamington business that made illegal claims the foods they sold could treat and 
prevent cancer have fined more than £10,000.

Pure and Raw Ltd, which has a shop in Regent Street, made claims the foods they sold could treat and prevent cancer, fight diabetes, lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease.

Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service brought the prosecution after the business, and its director Ravinder Aujla, repeatedly failed to heed the advice of trading standards officers.

When Warwickshire trading standards officers became aware of the claims being made by Pure and Raw, at its shop and on its website, 
officers offered help and advice. The business was making health claims that it was not legally allowed to make, including: flax oil helps to fight against breast cancer; ginger can treat ovarian cancer; goji berries protect against heart disease; kale has anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects; and that beetroot lowers blood pressure.

The business was unwilling to remove or change the statements it was making.

At Nuneaton Magistrates Court on August 28, Pure and Raw Ltd of Pegasus House, Pegasus Court, Tachbrook Park, Warwick pleaded guilty to 12 offences under regulation 5(1) of the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007.

Mrs Aujla, director of Pure and Raw, also pleaded guilty to 12 offences under regulation 5(1) of the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007.

The company was fined £500 per offence plus a victim surcharge of £50, a total of £6,050. Mrs Aujla was fined £200 per offence plus a £30 victim surcharge, plus costs of £2,022.57, a total of £4,452.57.

In mitigation, Mr Ekwall Tiwana, representing Pure and Raw Ltd and Ravinder Aujla, said that Mrs Aujla is passionate about her business .

Talking to the Courier after the case, Pure and Raw Ltd said the business will be appealing against the decision.

Mrs Aujla added: “The claims being put against me are as a result of EU regulations and the wording of the claims relate to information widely available.

“At a time when everything is readily available, this has given me the opportunity to offer natural products that may provide health benefits to our customers.

“To issue regulation to suppress these products which may have health benefits, is a scandal. We have customers who come to us from all parts of the country just to eat here saying that it is one of the healthiest places they know. The benefits of juices and raw foods can enhance gut and digestion health.

“Having worked hard to establish positive ethos within my business, this publicity has given my business huge exposure. This whole situation has given us widespread positive publicity and has opened up a debate on the food scandal that exists within our society.”