New FTC Homeopathy Marketing Claims Policy

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Drakkith
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FTC Issues Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Drugs

The U.S. FTC (Federal Trade Commission) dealt a possibly big blow to homeopathic companies a few days ago. After spending the last year or so reviewing their policies regarding homeopathic products, the FTC finally released a statement on November 15th. Here's the main article: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/pre...orcement-policy-statement-regarding-marketing

The Federal Trade Commission today announced a new “Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Homeopathic Drugs.” The policy statement was informed by an FTC workshop held last year to examine how such drugs are marketed to consumers. The FTC also released its staff report on the workshop, which summarizes the panel presentations and related public comments in addition to describing consumer research commissioned by the FTC.

The policy statement explains that the FTC will hold efficacy and safety claims for OTC homeopathic drugs to the same standard as other products making similar claims. That is, companies must have competent and reliable scientific evidence for health-related claims, including claims that a product can treat specific conditions. The statement describes the type of scientific evidence that the Commission requires of companies making such claims for their products.
While this is absolutely good news, the new policies still provide a loophole of sorts:

However, the policy statement also notes that “the FTC has long recognized that marketing claims may include additional explanatory information to prevent the claims from being misleading. Accordingly, it recognizes that an OTC homeopathic drug claim that is not substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence might not be deceptive if the advertisement or label where it appears effectively communicates that: 1) there is no scientific evidence that the product works; and 2) the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.
Basically this means that homeopathic products can continue to be sold with the appropriate labeling mentioned above. So in the end we're still relying on the consumer being scientifically literate enough to recognize a bad product if the label says, "There is no scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of this product."

The FDA has also been reviewing their policies but has not yet released a statement.

Another article on this: https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/ftc-homeopathy-win/
 
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  • #2
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Moving in the right direction. I've seen too many people get fleeced.
 
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russ_watters
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Yeah, and all it took to motivate the regulators was a few dead babies! NBD!
 
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Evo
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And still people will buy the stuff, even though it's just water.
 
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gleem
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Don't get your hopes up. Just in , Congress intends to pass a stop gap budget bill funding the government only until March. This will allow Trump to get money into his programs in the 2017 budget. This will also allow the congress to break early and give them an opportunity to exercise the Congressional Review Act that allows them to nullify regulations approved within the last 60 legislative days. This now extends back to May because of so many breaks this year. On the docket for nullification are significant changes in the food labeling regulations.
 

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