A dietary supplement manufacturer has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law by making unsubstantiated claims that its product, “Senior Moment,” could prevent memory loss and restore memory function in adults. The proposed consent agreement to settle the charges with Nutramax Laboratories, Inc. of Edgewater, Maryland requires the company to have competent and reliable scientific evidence for these and similar claims in the future.
According to the FTC, Nutramax claims that the “Senior Moment” supplement “contains a proprietary blend of brain specific nutrients,” including DHA and cerebral phospholipids. The FTC charged that Nutramax did not possess a reasonable basis to support its claims that “Senior Moment” prevents memory loss and restores lost memory function in adults of all ages, and that it misrepresented that scientific studies prove that Senior Moment restores lost memory function in adults of all ages.
The proposed consent agreement prohibits the defendant from representing that “Senior Moment” can prevent or reverse the effects of memory loss, unless it has competent and reliable scientific evidence for that claim. It also requires Nutramax to have competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating all claims about the benefits of any product sold for cognitive function, or for the treatment or prevention of any related disease or disorder. Finally, the agreement prohibits the company from misrepresenting any study in connection with the marketing or sale of such products.
The Commission vote to accept the proposed consent agreement was 5-0. The FTC will publish an announcement regarding the agreement in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through August 12, 2004, after which the Commission will decide whether to make it final. Comments should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form near the end of the public comment period be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.
Copies of the complaint, proposed consent agreement, and an analysis of the agreement to aid in public comment 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, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov . The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
(FTC File No. 032-3052)