In the second story of the day on herbal products, we report that the US American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), in a bid to curtail all deceptive advertising, has unveiled a draft framework for voluntary advertising practices for dietary supplements that are marketed for weight loss.
AHPA president Michael McGuffin presented the recently formulated guidelines at a workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) designed to explore alternate approaches to reducing deceptive claims in advertising for weight loss products.
"The responsible centre of the herbal products industry supports sound FTC sanctioned guidelines for advertising weight loss products," said McGuffin. "Additionally, the industry supports strong enforcement against those companies that use false, misleading and illegal advertising practices to gain an unfair competitive edge over those companies that follow the law."
AHPA's weight loss advertising guidelines, initiated this summer, were accelerated in September when the FTC released 'Report on Weight Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends.' The FTC report concluded that false or misleading claims, such as exaggerated weight loss without diet or exercise and misleading consumer testimonials, are widespread in ads, many which appear in mainstream publications.
"From today onwards, our goal is to create a partnership between a variety of stakeholder groups from science, academia, healthcare, government, commercial enterprise, media and organisations promoting the public interest that have an equal voice in developing a final set of guidelines for the advertising of weight loss products. The need for these groups to work together towards a good set of standards transcends our individual goals and objectives," concluded the AHPA president.