February 15, 2019

Advertising Law News and Analysis

2 min

BlueHippo in the Red? Not on the FTC's Watch

Most would consider a bankruptcy proceeding a last resort. But some, seeking to expunge a debt, have contemplated that bankruptcy may be a safe way to avoid the long arm of the law. The Federal Trade Commission, however, has taken great steps to ensure that an FTC judgment firmly stays on a wrongdoer's balance sheet. In late December of last year, write Venable attorneys Mary Gardner, Ellen Berge, and Len Gordon, the FTC convinced a bankruptcy court that a party subject to a contempt order could not shield itself from the FTC's collection efforts by filing for bankruptcy.

FTC and FDA Issue Warning Letters to Supplements Companies

Earlier this week, the FTC and the FDA announced a joint effort to combat unsubstantiated health claims in the supplement space. In three warning letters, the agencies explain that certain efficacy claims may lack competent and reliable scientific evidence for support. The claims in question, write Venable attorneys Len Gordon and Matt Renick, pertain to treating Alzheimer's and remediating or curing other serious illnesses, including Parkinson's, heart disease, and cancer. The FDA issued the letters the same week it announced an effort to modernize its oversight over dietary supplement products. Taken together, these two actions reinforce that the agency appears to be trying to differentiate participants in the supplement space.

Supplement Spotlight: FDA Commissioner's Plan to Modernize FDA Oversight of Dietary Supplement Products

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. announced a plan to modernize FDA's approach to regulating dietary supplement products. In acknowledging the burgeoning industry, Commissioner Gottlieb, a physician himself, emphasized the importance of dietary supplements to consumer health. This announcement comes at a significant time for the dietary supplement industry, write Venable attorneys Claudia Lewis, Todd Harrison, Michelle Jackson, Heili Kim, Todd Halpern, Ashley Saba, and Jordan Bailey, as October 2019 will mark 25 years since the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was signed into law.