Economy

Red Rooster accused of misleading consumers over its “nothing artificial” claims; Fonterra blackmail threat halts shares: Midday Roundup

Eloise Keating /

Fast food chain Red Rooster has been accused of misleading consumers into believing its food is free of artificial ingredients and its chicken nuggets do not contain preservatives, reports Fairfax.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received a complaint about Red Rooster’s latest advertising campaign from the Food Intolerance Network, which is made up of 10,200 families in Australia and New Zealand.

The network claims Red Rooster’s ads make “misleading and erroneous” claims about its food.

The ads in question state customers “won’t find anything artificial” in Red Rooster food, the restaurants use “100 per cent Australian canola oil” and “chicken nuggets … are preservative free”.

But the Food Intolerance Network claims to have analysed the ingredients in items from the Red Rooster menu and found artificial additives, including a preservative that can trigger asthma attacks.

In response, Red Rooster has said it only claimed its food is free of artificial colours, flavours and no added MSG and did not state the items are free of preservatives.

“This claim is not an accurate reflection of what we said in advertising,” Red Rooster told Fairfax.

 

Fonterra blackmail threat halts shares

 

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has been forced to halt trading of its shares after “eco terrorists” threaten to poison its infant formula.

The blackmailers sent the company anonymous threats to poison the products with pesticide 1080 as a part of a campaign to stop the use of the poison in New Zealand agriculture.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange asked all listed dairy entities, including Fonterra, a2 and Synlait Milk, to suspend trading in the wake of the threat, according to Fairfax. The New Zealand dollar also dropped on news of the blackmailing.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings described the threat as a “despicable crime and act to blackmail New Zealand”, while Prime Minter John Key labelled it an act of “eco-terrorism”.

 

Shares down on open

 

Aussie shares have traded lower this morning, following a soft lead from Wall Street and local investors seeking to take collect profits from a particularly strong February.

“A packed reporting calendar probably delayed the sell off until now and combined with the continued commodity market volatility, we are seeing markets on the down trend for March,” said Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was down 41.9 points to 5782.3 points at 11.58am AEDT. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed 332.78 points lower, down 1.85% to 17662.9 points.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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