FTC denied expansion of powers

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

FTC denied expansion of powers

Related tags: Dietary supplements, Federal trade commission

The Federal Trade Commission will not be granted extra authority to police healthy foods and supplements marketing – among other powers – after a provision that would have done just that was removed from a Bill designed to reform Wall Street practices.

Industry was concerned the Bill would hand the FTC rights to quash marketing and bring it into conflict with rights established in the 1994 Dietary Supplements and Health Education Act (DSHEA), and lobbied hard against the provision.

They stated such a provision was not only unnecessary but had no place in a Bill that was primarily about another topic – financial reform.

“This is a great victory, but the war isn’t over,”​ said John Gay, Natural Products Association executive director and chief executive officer. “Those forces on Capitol Hill that want to over-regulate us are still out there, planning their next move. We need to remain vigilant.”

Detrimental

Mike Greene, senior director of government relations at the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), emphasized industry’s role in having the provision removed.

“This demonstrates the importance of maintaining credibility on the Hill, something which is a key priority for CRN,”​ he said. We believe we’ve done a very good job of educating legislators as to why this was a bad provision.”

“This provision would have been detrimental for industry, but as importantly, detrimental for consumers as it would have given FTC free-reign to rewrite its advertising regulations at the expense of consumers being unable to get complete information about a host of consumers products, from dietary supplements to toaster ovens. We’re pleased it didn’t make it into the final bill.”

Greene added: “If FTC still believes it needs more authority, then the proper way to go would be to have a Committee hearing through Energy and Commerce or through the FTC Reauthorization legislation.”

Industry feared marketing statements on dietary supplements may have required two ‘gold standard’ clinical trials to back them.

Related topics: Regulation, Product claims

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