UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20580 TO: INTERNET ADVERTISER FROM: FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION RE: HEALTH CLAIMS MADE ON THE INTERNETThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC), its federal and state law enforcement = partners, and public health and consumer protection agencies from Mexico = and Canada are sending you (and hundreds of other Internet advertisers) = this message based upon a review of the promotion you disseminated through = the Internet.
The FTC and its partners have NOT determined whether your Internet = promotion violates United States federal or state laws, Mexican law, or = Canadian law. Nevertheless, we want to remind you that when you make = health claims in promoting a product, service, or treatment, those claims = must be truthful and non-deceptive.
Deceptive Acts or Practices Are Unlawful under the FTC Act
In the United States, Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. =A7*45), = prohibits deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. In = addition, Section 12 of the Act (15 U.S.C. =A7*52) prohibits the disseminat= ion of any false advertisement to induce the purchase of any food, drugs, = or devices.
An advertisement is misleading and deceptive if the advertiser makes an = objective claim, either expressly or by implication, including through the = use of consumer testimonials, without a *reasonable basis* to support that = claim. As set out in the Commission*s Advertising Substantiation Policy = Statement, advertisements that specify the level of substantiation that = the advertiser possesses (e.g., *tests prove* or *studies show*) must be = supported by at least that level of evidence. If the advertisement does = not specify a particular type of substantiation, the Commission considers = several factors in determining the appropriate level of substantiation. = Typically, claims of the sort included on your Internet site must be = substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Competent = and reliable scientific evidence is defined as tests, analyses, research, = studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the = relevant area, that has been conducted and evaluated in an objective = manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted = in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Anecdotal = evidence and consumer testimonials are not considered competent and = reliable scientific evidence. You may want to review your advertisement = in light of these standards. You may also wish to consult the FTC*s Web = site at *http://www.ftc.gov* for further information.
If you wish to contact us, please do so via e-mail at health-claims=40ftc= .gov.
Possible Violations in Other Jurisdictions
Unfair or deceptive acts or practices are also unlawful under various = state statutes in the United States. The standards under these statutes = may be different from those of the FTC*s. In addition, by placing an = Internet site on the World Wide Web, you may be subject to scrutiny in = other countries where you sell your products. You should be aware that = many countries, including Mexico and Canada, also have laws that generally = require advertisements to be truthful and non-deceptive.=20 = = =20