Seasilver, others, face the music for false claims

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Related tags: Dietary supplement, Federal trade commission, Food and drug administration, Marketing

Dietary supplement marketers, including those behind the
controversial SeaSilver product, are to pay millions in consumer
redress in the latest wave of charges against false claims.

Marketers of Seasilver, 'Focus Factor', a dietary supplement that purports to improve concentration and 'V-Factor', a yohimbine and L-argenine supplement that purports to enhance sexual performance have been banned by US trade regulator the Federal Trade Commission from making further unsubstantiated advertising claims for the products.

The agreements, which do not mean the firms have admitted to a law violation, are subject to public comment for 30 days, after which the Commission will decide to make them final. The final agreement carries the force of law and breaking of the agreement could result in a civil penalty of $11,000.

Two California-based companies that promoted Seasilver using claims that it was clinically proven to treat or cure 650 diseases, including cancer and AIDS, will pay $4.5 million in consumer redress, said the FTC today.

The FTC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a coordinated action against Seasilver USA and Americaloe, as well as their owners, and two of the companies' principal distributors in June last year.In its settlement with FDA, Seasilver agreed to destroy misbranded Seasilver product worth $5.3 million dollars and discontinue manufacturing and distributing misbranded products, including Seasilver.

"The claims for Seasilver threatened consumers' health by encouraging delays and replacements for proven treatments,"​ said Howard Beales, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Advertising for Seasilver suggested that it could help nine out of ten diabetes patients to stop their insulin medication and also cause rapid, substantial, and permanent weight loss without dieting. The liquid dietary supplement is said to contain aloe vera, phyto-silver sea vegetables, the herb Pau D-Arco, and cranberry concentrate.

Vital Basics, based in Portland, Maine, and its principals, Robert Graham and Michael Shane, will pay $1 million in consumer redress for failing to back up the efficacy of Focus Factor and the safety of V-Factor Natural Pack.

Another company, Texas-based Creative Health Institute, which marketed the product from 1997 to 2000, will face charges of $60,000.

Related topics: Regulation

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