NAD refers company making unsubstantiated disease-state claims to FTC


NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Monday referred advertising for Serranol dietary supplement, marketed by Good Health Naturally, to the Federal Trade Commission for further review after the company declined to fully participate in a National Advertising Division review of its advertising claims.

As part of an initiative to expand the review of advertising claims made for dietary supplements, the Council for Responsible Nutrition challenged advertising claims made for the product, which included advertising the health benefits of the ingredient ecklonia cava extract for people who suffer conditions that included fibromyalgia, vascular inflammation, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular conditions, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, anticlotting disorders, memory disorders, brain function disorders, joint and nerve pain, allergies, COPD, obesity, diabetes or penile dysfunction.

CRN also challenged safety claims concerning the product.

The NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue many of the challenged claims because it did not conduct any studies on the Serranol product itself and because it provided only animal studies, informal summaries, abstracts or bibliographic references in support of the majority of its ingredient claims.

The NAD determined that the very few in vitro and in vivo full-text studies submitted by the advertiser were insufficient to support the advertiser’s strong health claims, and determined that the advertiser did not produce any evidence to support its safety claims, although the advertiser is free to tout that ECE is an edible brown algae.

The advertiser failed to submit a statement that it would comply with NAD’s recommendations. As a result, NAD has referred the advertising claims at issue to the FTC for further review.

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