ABF head of external affairs Geoff Lancaster said: 'My beef is not with Ethical Consumer. My issue is with The Independent – a credible national newspaper that should have known better.'
'The Independent asked us to comment on a leaked report we had not seen, at five minutes' notice. Even though we told them there were serious factual errors, they still ran it.' The piece was followed up by national radio and regional newspapers.
'The report was not a credible source,' added Lancaster. 'But a national newspaper swallowed it and what's left, on the record, has an effect on our reputation.'
The Independent declined to comment and Ethical Consumer was unavailable for comment.