Dietary supplement company refuses to respond to NAD recommendations
The Perfect Supplement Solution?
Remove hard-to-remove body fat. Boost your immune system. Thicken thinning hair.
On paper, FemaLife’s benefits sound great. The company made a series of boasts regarding its Super Flora Probiotic that positioned it as the answer to numerous problems: “If [your body] doesn’t receive the adequate nutrition it needs from the foods you consume,” one online ad claimed, “it can begin robbing stored nutrients from your bones, skin, nails and even your hair.” Super Flora Probiotic would help fill the gap. However, some other claims pushed the limits of appropriate claims for dietary supplements, promising consumers that the product could treat and prevent acne and help the body fight off colds and viruses.
Further, the advertising included numerous consumer and expert endorsements. One page sported six doctors, each with a callout quote promoting the use of probiotics to treat a wide range of medical conditions, even suggesting they should be used in place of antibiotics. But at the bottom of the page, in smaller italicized type, was the following qualifier: “We do not own the rights to these photos, they are for demonstration purposes only, they have not explicitly endorsed our product but are respected opinions in the medical feild [sic] pertaining to probiotics in general.”
The problem was, as nonprofit organization Truth in Advertising put it: “marketing supplements as having the ability to treat, cure, alleviate the symptoms of, or prevent developing diseases and disorders is not permitted by law.” Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” which are frequently cited by the National Advertising Division (NAD), warn against the use of endorsements from experts who have not personally evaluated the product.
Not So Fa(s)t!
Enter the NAD, which contacted FemaLife to challenge a number of its claims. NAD demanded substantiation for some of the company’s tag lines, including:
• “If digestive problems have been interrupting your life for far too long then you NEED to click through to the next page and learn how to put an end to all your digestive discomforts in less than 30 seconds a day.”
• “Superflora probiotic helps give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off infections and viruses that actively try to invade your body on a daily basis.”
But FemaLife never responded, failing to return any evidence to prove the claims. Despite repeated contact, NAD claims, FemaLife remained silent.
The lack of response prompted the Division to refer FemaLife’s claims to the Federal Trade Commission. FemaLife may regret its silence; the FTC has been active in pursuing diet supplements and their health claims, including products boasting fat-burning, weight-loss, pain-relief and memory-improving powers.