ERSP finds New U Life health claims less than potent
Protest Too Much?
Alex Goldstein, founder of New U Life, has an entertaining biography on his company’s website that’s worth a read. “Alex Goldstein is a force of nature – or should we say, a force for natural foods, nutraceuticals and performance supplements that help people lead their healthiest possible lifestyle,” reads one sentence. Goldstein is the power behind a number of companies in the “wellness” space, including Natural Life Foods (vitamins and other supplements), First Strike Nutrition (athletic performance products) and XYGENYX, which is not an interminable prog-rock instrumental by legendary Canadian band Rush, but rather “a licensing company for FDA-registered products. The crown jewel of the line, the product that’s been generating a lot of buzz lately, is SOMADERM Gel.”
An anonymous informer dropped a dime on New U Life recently with a call to the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP), asking for it to look at a number of New U Life’s advertising claims regarding Somaderm. The gel purports to be “the only transdermal product containing Homeopathic human growth hormone,” along with a variety of other claims, including this laundry list: 1.*May support better mood 2 *May support healthier hair, skin & nails 3.*May promote hair growth 4.*May increase joint mobility 5. *May enhance libido 6. *May increase fat loss (especially around the mid-section) 7. *May support greater muscle tone 8.* May increase strength 9.* May improve memory.
After the company made certain initial adjustments in cooperation with ERSP, including “removing all consumer testimonials and expert endorsements from a ‘scientific advisory board,’” the program made a number of rulings. One of the company’s claims survived. ERSP held that New U Life had failed to support claims that Somaderm conveyed any health benefits and held that the company didn’t submit any substantiation that the product was “homeopathic.” However, ERSP ruled that New U Life could claim that its facilities were registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that the gel had been granted a National Drug Code number … with a warning to steer clear of claiming the product was FDA-approved.