Misleading aerosol claims survive legal challenge

A series of prosecutions brought by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council alleging that four companies made misleading environmental claims on aerosols has ended in failure. The cases have pointed to an apparent conflict between the inherent uncertainties of environmental science and the provisions of statute law.

The charges were brought by Walsall council in March 1991. They alleged that four firms - Beecham, Boots the Chemist, Colgate-Palmolive and Superdrug Stores - had infringed provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act dealing with the application of misleading product descriptions or the supply of goods bearing such descriptions, or in some cases both.

The charges related to aerosol products such as shaving foam, hair spray and deodorant. The

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