Submission Number: 00010
Received: 6/9/2011 3:20:07 PM
Commenter: James Simons
Organization: Holistic Health, LLC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: FTC Seeks Input for Revising Its Guidance to Businesses About Online Advertising; FTC Matter No. P114506
Attachments: No Attachments
Ten years ago the internet was a mostly useful source of reasonably unbiased infomation. That has all changed. I have many customers who shop in our store bring in various products purchased on-line that are either useless or dangerous. I believe the reason for the proliferation of the websites that sell products of dubious nature is there is no way for the consumer to verify or validate any of the information contained on these websites. What may be even more concerning is that even when websites are honest in the presentation of the product they are selling, the consumer has no frame of reference in which to judge whether a product is appropriate for themselves. Consumers rely on the website to give them information on the individual supplements used in the product. I have seen many websites that either downplay the potential side effects of the supplements or do not mention potential side effects at all. Another concern I have had to address is the potential of supplement / medication interaction. None of the websites maintain any database of the potential interaction of supplements and medication.
The lack of full disclosure of all the information regarding the products available on the web, leaves the rest of the industry to try to undo the damage that this misinformation causes the consumer.
If the FTC is going to protect the unwary customer, it needs to require that all websites maintain full databases on every supplement used in every product. These sites should also be required to list all potential drug interactions that may occur with their products.