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Industry targets bogus H1N1 claims

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Dietary supplement industry trade groups offer enforcement help against fraudulent H1N1 flu virus claims with their second joint statement this year noting that federal regulations do not allow supplements to make disease claims. The associations note Dec. 7 that FDA and the Federal Trade Commission issued 147 warning letters since May on products making H1N1 prevention or cure claims. "FTC informed us that they were not getting the results they wanted," American Herbal Product Association President Michael McGuffin said in a Dec. 10 e-mail. Natural Products Association Executive Director John Gay said that since the groups' May statement, the cold and flu season started and flu-related claims are more prevalent. The Natural Products Foundation's Truth in Advertising program in October referred 10 firms to FDA and FTC after they failed to amend their ads to comply with regulations (1"The Tan Sheet" Oct. 29, 2009, In Brief). FDA says the bogus H1N1 claims it is finding have slowed since May from seven to 10 a day to as many in a week (2"The Tan Sheet" Oct. 19, 2009). "We are continuing with the same enforcement effort that we have used," a spokesman said. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the United Natural Products Alliance also signed the joint industry statement
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