June 21, 2004
FTC Files Complaint Against Supplement Maker
WASHINGTONThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint againstBeverly, Mass.-based ITV Direct/Direct Marketing Concepts for making false andmisleading claims about two of the company's products--Supreme Greens with MSMand Coral Calcium Daily. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for theDistrict of Massachusetts and seeks a temporary restraining order, permanentinjunction and consumer redress.
In its complaint, FTC (www.ftc.gov) said thecompany promoted the two products through widely-aired infomercials thatpositioned each product as a means to cure, treat or prevent cancer and otherdiseases. In addition, the complaint noted when a phone number appeared duringthe infomercials asking consumers to call, there was no disclaimer that theconsumers were watching a paid commercial, rather than an impartial show. Amongthe 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 letterto 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 tobalancing the body's pH and how the supplement has "helped thousands ofpeople with cancer, diabetes, arthritis [etc.]," position the product as anunapproved new drug. Further, alleged "structure/function" statementswere determined by FDA to be unsubstantiated, causing the products to bemisbranded.
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