A COLCHESTER firm selling food supplements has been fined £100,000 after investigators found claims on its products could not be backed up.

Sport Supplements Limited, which trades as Bulk Powders, was sentenced at Colchester Magistrates' Court after being found to have used unauthorised and unjustified health and nutrition claims.

The conviction followed an investigation by Essex Trading Standards last year.

Magistrates were told the business failed to act on advice and guidance from officers on seven separate occasions following a series of complaints.

They found there was potential for consumers to be misled into paying more for products than they would for similar foods available to buy on the high street.

A selection of food products available from the business were formally sampled and submitted to the public analyst for consideration.

Of the products sampled, a total of 55 breaches of labelling legislation were reported.

The majority of these breaches focused on claims made about the nutritional and health benefits of the food products.

Examples included the level of protein in some of the products being found to be insufficient to make the health claim “protein contributes to the growth of muscle mass” or the nutrition claim “source of protein”.

Bulk Powders, based in Brunel Way, faced 30 charges and was fined £100,000 fine and ordered to pay £7,148.30 costs.

Essex Trading Standards brought the prosecution under the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007.

Susan Barker, Essex County Council's customers boss, said: “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to businesses that misleading consumers will not be tolerated and that they have a duty to protect the people who buy their products.

“Essex Trading Standards has an ongoing commitment to support residents who should feel confident that they can rely on the information provided in the form of food labels and commercial websites.”

The Gazette has contacted Bulk Powders for comment.