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UNPA "Advertiser Beware" Seminar In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Oregon DOJ advises on avoiding substantiation trouble: To avoid receiving a dietary supplement substantiation claim request from Oregon's Department of Justice, companies should build a firewall between their marketing and claims substantiation departments. At the United Natural Products Alliance's Sept. 24 seminar on advertising regulations, Oregon DOJ attorney David Hart said in a recent case a company official in charge of claims substantiation also worked with the marketing department. "You see the conflict of interest here? That's just untenable," said Hart, who is in charge of financial fraud/consumer protection. "A person who does the substantiation review should be uncontaminated." Best practices include reaching outside a firm for substantiation, such as to independent academic medical centers, and having substantiation ready before it is requested. "Don't send me a box full of Internet studies. If I ask you for substantiation and you just throw a bunch of studies in a box, I know you don't know what you're talking about," Hart added. Having information ready indicates a company is acting in good faith, even if the government disagrees with the research findings, he said. Additionally, substantiation materials should be updated regularly to remain current with research

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