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Labeling Weight Loss Dietary Supplements

In order to curtail deceptive advertising, the American Herbal Product Association (AHPA) has proposed a draft framework for voluntary advertising practices for dietary supplements marketed for weight loss. At a workshop by the Federal Trade Commission to explore alternate approaches to reduce deceptive claims in advertising for weight loss claims, AHPA president Michael McGuffin presented the recently formulated guidelines. Earlier this year FTC released the “Report on weight loss advertising: An analysis of current trend” This report concluded that false or misleading claims, such as exaggerated weight loss without diet or exercise and misleading consumer testimonials, are wide spread in ads, many of which appear in major forms of media. FTC analyzed claims from a nonrandom sample of 300 advertisements disseminated during the first half of 2001. The AHPA president claimed that the responsible core of the herbal product industry supports strong enforcement against those companies that use false, misleading and illegal advertising practices to gain an unfair competitive edge over those companies that follow the law.

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