UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BEFORE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
In the Matter of
EFAMOL NUTRACEUTICALS, INC., a corporation.
DOCKET NO. C-3958
The Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that Efamol Nutraceuticals, Inc.
("respondent"), has violated the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act,
and it appearing to the Commission that this proceeding is in the public interest,
1. Respondent Efamol Nutraceuticals, Inc., is a Delaware corporation with its principal
office or place of business at 23 Dry Dock Avenue, 2nd Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02210.
2. Respondent has manufactured, advertised, labeled, offered for sale, sold, and
distributed numerous dietary supplements to the public, all of which contain essential
fatty acids. Included among respondent's products are "Efalex" and "Efalex
Focus." Respondent has marketed Efalex and Efalex Focus to parents of children with
Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
("ADD/ADHD"). Efalex and Efalex Focus are "foods" and/or
"drugs," within the meaning of Sections 12 and 15 of the Federal Trade
3. The acts and practices of respondent alleged in this complaint have been in or
affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade
4. Respondent has disseminated or has caused to be disseminated advertisements for
Efalex and Efalex Focus, including but not necessarily limited to the attached Exhibits A
through D. These advertisements contain the following statements and depictions:
- A. "LONG-TERM SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE: HUGGING YOUR MOM.
- When your child is bouncing off the walls, hyper and aggressive, do you go crazy wishing
he'd just let you love him? EfalexTM is a dietary
supplement that manages fatty acid deficiency in ADD/ADHD. It's safe and gentle, and it's
available today without a prescription. In capsules or liquid. Because hugging your mom is
the best medicine of all. To find out more, call 1 888 EFAMOL 1 or visit
- (Exhibit A, Print Advertisement).
- B. "FREAK
- Why would anyone say such a thing? He's a beautiful kid. But sometimes beautiful kids
suffer from really ugly attention and behavior problems. Luckily, EfalexTM
is here. This safe, gentle, dietary supplement, now available in capsules or liquid,
manages fatty acid deficiency in ADD/ADHD. Because he's not a monster, a demon, a weirdo.
He's your child. Call 1 888 EFAMOL 1 or visit www.efamol.com."
- (Exhibit B, Print Advertisement).
- C. "You'd Try Anything to Help Your Child with ADHD. Try This.
- Studies show that some children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
have a fatty acid deficiency. This is because they have problems converting essential
fatty acids into the long chain forms the body needs to maintain optimum eye and brain
- Only Efalex provides the precise combination of these important fatty acids -- G.A.,
DHA, and AA -- to properly manage this deficiency.
- Efalex has been used by thousands of children in the United Kingdom, other parts of
Europe and Australia. Manufactured by Efamol, the world leader in fatty acid research,
Efalex is a safe, gentle way to manage fatty acid deficiency.
- Now Efalex is available at your local pharmacy in the vitamin/natural products section.
- For more information on fatty acid deficiency and ADHD, call 1-888-EFAMOL-1 or visit
- Efamol. Better Science for Better Nutrition."
- (Exhibit C, Print Advertisement).
- D. "Can you help him stay focused?
- Today's children are intelligent, creative and more talented than ever, yet some find it
difficult to focus on even the most everyday tasks. What causes this problem remains a
- Nutritional research conducted at a major American university may offer hope. Studies
have shown that essential fatty acids may play a role in maintaining eye and brain
function. New research has shown that these nutrients may be low in some of today's overly
- More and more parents are finding out about EfalexTM
Focus -- a new dietary supplement from Efamol Ltd., the world leader in essential fatty
- EfalexTM Focus is a patented formula that provides an
important balance of these fatty acids. It has been widely used in Europe and is now
available in the U.S.
- To learn more about EfalexTM Focus and essential fatty
acids, or to locate a store near you, call 1-888-EFAMOL-1 or visit us at
- (Exhibit D, Print Advertisement).
5. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondent has represented, expressly or
by implication, that:
- A. Efalex and Efalex Focus can cure, prevent, treat
or mitigate ADD/ADHD or its symptoms.
- B. Efalex and Efalex Focus are effective in reducing attention and behavioral problems.
6. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondent has represented, expressly or
by implication, that it possessed and relied upon a reasonable basis that substantiated
the representations set forth in Paragraph 5, at the time the representations were made.
7. In truth and in fact, respondent did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis
that substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraph 5, at the time the
representations were made. There are no studies showing that children suffering from
ADD/ADHD can be effectively treated by supplementation with essential fatty acids.
Respondent relied on studies that do not purport to establish a link between essential
fatty acid supplementation and an effect on ADD/ADHD or its symptoms. Therefore, the
representation set forth in Paragraph 6 was, and is, false or misleading.
8. The acts and practices of respondent as alleged in this complaint constitute unfair
or deceptive acts or practices, and the making of false advertisements, in or affecting
commerce in violation of Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
THEREFORE, the Federal Trade Commission this twenty-second day of June, 2000, has
issued this complaint against respondent.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark