Sweet court victory for Asda

Asda has won its court battle with a Japanese food company which sued the Leeds-based supermarket chain for calling the artificial sweetener aspartame "nasty".

Ajinomoto Sweeteners, a leading producer of aspartame, took action after Asda said in 2007 that it would remove artificial colours and flavours from its own brand labels.

In publicity for its "Good for you" range, Asda promised: "No hidden nasties – no artificial colours or flavours, no aspartame and no hydrogenated fats".

Ajinomoto accused Asda at the High Court in London of malicious falsehood.

But Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that the words complained of – on food packaging and a cola drink – did not mean that aspartame was potentially harmful or unhealthy.

Sarah Sordy of Mars Petcare in Birstall

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