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FTC Files Complaint Against Supplement MakerFTC Files Complaint Against Supplement Maker

June 4, 2004

2 Min Read
FTC Files Complaint Against Supplement Maker

WASHINGTON--The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against Beverly, Mass.-based ITV Direct/Direct Marketing Concepts for making false and misleading claims about two of the company's products--Supreme Greens with MSM and Coral Calcium Daily. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and seeks a temporary restraining order, permanent injunction and consumer redress.

In its complaint, FTC (www.ftc.gov) said the company promoted the two products through widely-aired infomercials that positioned each product as a means to cure, treat or prevent cancer and other diseases. In addition, the complaint noted when a phone number appeared during the infomercials asking consumers to call, there was no disclaimer that the consumers were watching a paid commercial, rather than an impartial show. Among the allegedly violative claims were:

* Supreme Greens could cure or prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.

* Supreme Greens would cause significant weight loss of up to four pounds a week.

* Supreme Greens is safe for everyone, including pregnant women, children and persons on medication.

* Coral Calcium Daily could cure or prevent cancer, heart disease and other degenerative and autoimmune diseases.

* Coral Calcium Daily was superior to other calcium supplements in bioavailability.

FTC asked the court to prohibit the company from making the suspect claims, and to freeze the company's and the owners' assets.

In related news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to ITV in mid-April regarding labeling claims made on Supreme Greens with MSM. FDA determined claims on the product labels and Web site, which refer to balancing the body's pH and how the supplement has "helped thousands of people with cancer, diabetes, arthritis [etc.]," position the product as an unapproved new drug. Further, alleged "structure/function" statements were determined by FDA to be unsubstantiated, causing the products to be misbranded.

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