Federal Trade Commission member Sheila Anthony advised the media to do a better
job of policing dietary supplement ads, suggesting that the alternative would be
more enforcement actions by the FTC.
Anthony said that since Congress curtailed the Food and Drug Administration's power to review those
supplements, there has been a boom in "snake oil" salesmen.
Pointing to the more than 60 enforcement actions taken over the past five
years against dietary-supplement ads, she told an educational conference in
Washington, D.C., that there are "many more in the pipeline."
While saying these views were hers and not those of the commission, she
pointed out that according to FTC guidelines, advertisers and agencies can be
held liable for false claims.
"Major national newspapers, magazines, television, cable and radio stations
seem ready to accept the substantial advertising dollars of this industry
without question, often airing patently fraudulent ads," Anthony
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