Issued 21 November 2003

A2 Corporation Limited and its licensed A2 producers have agreed to amend their promotional material to remove any statements that imply the complete exclusion of beta casein A1 from A2 milk, following a warning from the Commerce Commission.

The Commission investigated allegations made by the Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited that A2 Corporation's milk products contain some A1 milk.

Advertising by A2 Corporation at the time of the Commission's investigation included statements such as 'A2 milk is essentially just like any other milk, with one exception: a variant of the milk protein beta casein has been excluded'. In addition, some A2 milk was labelled as 'Just A2'. These claims were contradictory to the nutritional information panel on A2 milk which indicated that there may be a small quantity of beta casein A1 in the milk.

A test commissioned by the Commission had also indicated the presence of a small proportion of Beta Casein A1 in an A2 milk sample. Although the A2 Corporation expressed confidence during the investigation that its quality controls were sufficient to exclude the vast majority of beta casein A1, it acknowledged that it could not be certain that there was no A1 in A2 milk. A2 Corporation and its licensed A2 processors therefore agreed to amend their promotional material.

Acting Chair Paula Rebstock, said the Commission was concerned that any statement which incorrectly implied to consumers that there was no beta casein A1 in A2 milk was likely to breach the Fair Trading Act.

"Consumers must be able to make choices about the milk they purchase based on accurate information," she said.

The Commission's investigation into the claims relating to the health benefits of A2 milk is continuing. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is currently researching the scientific evidence on the A1/A2 milk debate. Any Commission action on this issue would depend on the results of the Authority's review.

Media contact:

Deborah Battell, Director, Fair Trading Branch

Phone work (04) 924 3760, mobile 029 924 3760

Jackie Maitland, Communications Manager

Phone work (04) 924 3708, mobile 029 924 3708