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FTC releases new health products compliance guidance

Wide-reaching document replaces 2001 dietary supplement advertising guide

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a new guidance publication, “Health Products Compliance Guidance,” to expand upon and replace its 1998 guidance on the advertising of dietary supplements. The new guidance covers all “health-related products”, including dietary supplements, foods, OTC drugs, homeopathic products, and various health-related devices, services and apps. Among other changes, the guidance includes bulleted lists articulating several FTC standards, and provides a large number of new and updated examples used to illustrate regulatory policy on health product advertising.

Among other changes of relevance to the herbal products community, FTC has significantly revised the guidance section on claims based on traditional use. This section now includes a set of steps that the agency states advertisers using traditional use claims should take “to avoid communicating a misleading message about the product’s efficacy or about the scientific basis for any health benefit.”

The guidance is available here.


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