CHOICE Shonky Awards feature dishonest health claims

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th October 2015

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE today released their 10th annual CHOICE Shonky Awards, highlighting dishonest products and companies “taking advantage of Australian consumers”.


Among the 2015 Shonky awards winners was biscuit producer Arnott’s for a claim displayed on its Tiny Teddy product. The biscuits were labelled with a “school canteen – meets amber guidelines” logo, developed by Arnott’s, despite the fact that under the National Health School Canteen guidelines the product would be classified as “not recommended on the canteen menu”.


Arnott’s have responded by stating the product was amber compliant with NSW, Victoria and QLD School canteen guidelines but admitted chocolate and sprinkles classified as confectionery. The company said that school canteen guidelines are currently under review and that Arnott’s will voluntarily comply with any changes to the programs.


The Coca-Cola Company also came under fire due to the discovery that the company had given a “unrestricted gift” to the Global Energy Balance Network. The Network, which claims to be “dedicated to helping end obesity” downplays the health effects of consuming sugary drinks and suggests against focusing too much on bad eating habits.


Coca-Cola said the Shonkys did not represent its relationship withe the organisation and that it has a history of supporting evidence-based research. The company said it acknowledges the importance of moderation and healthy lifestyles.


The awards came from out of over 400 nominations.


CHOICE has asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate some of the companies given awards.