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Source : 04/09/2000 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

The Jesus Fellowship has apologised after a woman had a violent reaction to food which claimed to be a non-dairy alternative.

The religious group, based in Nether Heyford, runs a wholesale company called Goodness Foods Ltd in South March, Daventry, which specialises in health products.

Goodness Foods Ltd was fined 6,000 for falsely describing food after pleading guilty to three counts of falsely describing a product called Oaternative as a non-dairy alternative to milk.

The firm, whose office is registered in Northampton, marketed the product in November 1999 and claimed it was '100 per cent vegetable' and 'suitable for vegans', aimed specifically at allergy sufferers.

Buckinghamshire Trading Standards was notified about the product by a consumer in Aylesbury, who was allergic to dairy products and had an anaphylactic shock after eating the product.

Following a complaint it was revealed the product actually contained milk protein added as a binding agent and the company was prosecuted under the Food Safety Act 1990.

The product was manufactured in the Czech Republic and imported into the UK by Goodness Foods Ltd under its own name.

John Campbell, communications officer for the Jesus Fellowship, said the group was 'very regretful' about the incident and the distress caused to the woman.

He said: 'We have learnt our lesson and need to investigate thoroughly the products and not rely on declaration of manufacturers and authorities overseas.'

Councillor Bill Chapple, chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council's environment services committee, said the trading standards investigation showed the company had failed to make the necessary checks to ensure it met its claims.

He said: 'The Food Safety Act provides an important safeguard ensuring that food is correctly described and safe to eat.'

The product was recalled and the wholesaler was ordered to pay 467 costs.