Agency condemns smelly herring claims as ‘illegitimate’

It sounded too good to be true that surströmming - the slimy, smelly, fermented Baltic herring consumed by some Swedish enthusiasts - could actually be good for you.

The supplement, and claims that the smelly fish could be some sort of health elixir, have now been questioned by the National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket).

“The claims that have been made are illegitimate,” Petra Bergkvist at the administration told the TT news agency.

Rebiotica, a company based in Hälsingland in northern Sweden, announced on Wednesday that it has begun production of ‘surströmming’ as a health supplement.

The manufacturers claimed that the product would help against upset stomachs, gastric catarrh and heartburn. The national food administration has now responded to claims forwarded on the company’s website and promotion material.

“It crosses the line for what can be said about food products,” Petra Bergkvist said.

She has been in contact with the company and says the claims about the supplement will be reformulated.

The news agency has made attempts to reach Rebiotica for a comment on the report but was unable.

The company stated on its website that the “shop is closed for the time being due to high demand! We apologise and will return as soon as possible with our surströmming-based product.”

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