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Coop found guilty of misleading and unfair marketing

Pressmeddelande   •   Jul 03, 2017 12:11 CEST

Coop's advertising films were illegal

The Swedish Crop Protection Association sued Coop for the two advertising films, "The Organic Effect" and "Amelia Tests the Organic Effect", because in the films Coop tried to prove in an extremely dubious and misleading way that organic food would be better for health and the environment compared to other foods.

"On the basis of a rigged study, Coop made a couple of films which exaggerate, lie and frighten," said Anders Normann, Executive Director of the Swedish Crop Protection Association.

It is unethical and illegal to mislead customers with the kinds of dubious claims that occur in the advertising, and this has been made abundantly clear in the Patent and Market Court's verdict.

Fines if assertions are repeated

In addition to paying the court costs, Coop must pay a fine of SEK 1,000,000 if they again market food in this way or in essentially the same manner. Simply put, Coop will be fined if, in their marketing, they again use assertions such as "we are eating pesticides" or claim that organic food is produced without the use of pesticides.

This is about marketing, not an attack on organic production

The summons referred to breach of the marketing regulations. On several occasions, Coop has incorrectly claimed that the reason for the summons was that the Swedish Crop Protection Association wanted to stop organic food production or attack it.

The Swedish Crop Protection Association's member companies manufacture and sell both chemical and biological plant protection products. Most of the products are used in conventional cultivation, but in addition to the biological plant protection products, several of the chemical plant protection products are also approved for use in organic farming.

For us, it is not a question of whether farmers choose organic or conventional production, and that is not what the summons and the judgment are about,” said Anders Normann.

The Swedish Crop Protection Association promotes competitive agriculture and food production

The Swedish Crop Protection Association works to increase Swedish food production and to strengthen the overall competitiveness of Swedish agriculture.

"Coop's assertion that organic food is better for health and the environment is wrong for many reasons, not least because it gives the impression that it is always better to choose imported organic food rather than food produced in Sweden. There is no evidence for that. There is, however, evidence that from an environmental point of view, Swedish food is almost always better than imported food, and that Swedish food generally contains very low residues of pesticides,” concluded Anders Normann.

The Swedish Crop Protection Association is one of five industry associations linked to the service company KTF Organisation AB.