Commission denial of petition requesting a rulemaking proceeding: Following a review of a petition submitted to the FTC, the Commission has voted to deny the request for a rulemaking proceeding regarding the Commission’s procedures in nonpublic investigations of health-related advertising. The First Amendment Health Freedom Association, a coalition of manufacturers and consumers of dietary supplements, submitted the petition to the FTC requesting that the Commission issue rules requiring the FTC staff, when investigating health-related advertising, to: 1) evaluate the scientific evidence before initiating the investigation; 2) identify the specific advertising content that the staff considers to be misleading and the basis for that belief in the initial access letter or civil investigative demand (CID); 3) identify, at the earliest possible point in the investigation, the specific grounds for the staff’s belief that the substantiation is inadequate; and 4) issue warning letters to advertisers as a primary enforcement mechanism, rather than initiating formal investigations by access letter or CID.
Following a review of the petition, the Commission has voted to deny the request. The FTC also has sent a letter to the petitioner detailing its reasons for doing so. The Commission vote to deny the petition and send a letter to the parties was 5-0. (File No. P034515; contact: Division of Advertising Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3090.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.