FTC Issues Regs On Health Supplement Ads

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The Federal Trade Commission began regulating how manufacturers of dietary supplements advertise their products. Health supplements have had increased exposure in DRTV ads this year and the FTC had warned manufacturers in March of pending regulations.

The FTC guide is separate from the one published by the Food and Drug Administration, in that the FTC study concerns advertising while the FDA's study concerns health issues.

The FTC guide states that all who participate in the marketing of dietary supplements have "an obligation to make sure that claims are presented truthfully and to check the adequacy of the support behind those claims."

"You no longer have to get pre-approval from the FDA, if it is on the label you still have to go to FDA," said Victoria Streitfeld, a spokesperson for the FTC. "They still have to abide by the FTC law which says you have to be truthful."

The amount of support behind the claims depends "greatly on consumers expectations, based on the specific claim being made, how it is presented in the entire context of the ad, and how it is qualified," according to the commission. A copy of the FTC report is published at www.ftc.gov.

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