08/04/2012 12:29 BST

Plain English Campaign Slams Cadbury For Warning 'Nut Secret' Chocolate Contains Nuts

A group which campaigns for better use of English today scoffed at the UK's most famous chocolate maker for warning shoppers that a chocolate called Nut Secret contained nut.

The Plain English Campaign (PEC) said menus in boxes of Cadbury Milk Tray also warned that chocolates called Hazelnut Caress and Hazelnut Heaven contained nuts and were lacking a "common sense ingredient".

PEC officials said Milk Tray menus contained "needless repetition" and warnings aimed at food allergy sufferers "smacked of paranoia".

Cadbury did not respond to calls asking for its views but Milk Tray menus won the backing of a group which campaigns for people with food allergies.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign said shoppers would rather have over-labelling than uncertainty.

PEC officials said Milk Tray menus carried a general warning that "all chocolates contain milk and may contain traces of nut and soya".

Menus also warned that chocolates marked with an asterisk contained nuts.

They said three Milk Tray chocolates were marked with "contains nuts" asterisks and all three had the word "nut" in their name and description - Hazelnut Heaven was described as "Whole roasted hazelnut whirled in milk chocolate"; Hazelnut Caress was described as "Roasted hazelnut hugged by smooth caramel"; Nut Secret was described as "Hazelnut in milk truffle in milk chocolate".

"This needless repetition in warnings smacks of paranoia and fear of regulatory bodies, rather than helping the customer to enjoy a treat," said PEC founder Chrissie Maher.

"The ingredients of common sense, plain English and one clear statement should satisfy the regulators, save the manufacturers' time and money, and still give the shopper the information they need."

But the Anaphylaxis Campaign disagreed.

"Anyone shopping for someone with a food allergy is grateful for any information to help them to choose suitable food and to avoid products that may be unsafe," said a spokeswoman.

"They would rather a product be over-labelled than be uncertain about its allergy status."

Three years ago Cadbury hit the headlines after warning that Cadbury Dairy Milk bars contained milk and bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut contained nuts and milk.

Then, a Cadbury spokesman said the company was complying with the law relating to the presence of allergens in food.