BBB National Programs Archive
Garden Of Life Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – April 2, 2008 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Garden of Life, Inc. has adequately qualified certain claims made for its Fucothin dietary supplement. The marketer has voluntarily agreed to modify other claims. The marketer’s advertising came to ERSP’s attention pursuant to an anonymous competitive inquiry.
Separately, ERSP noted that Garden of Life, following the completion of the ERSP inquiry, issued a press release regarding the outcome of the case, in violation of ERSP procedures. The company has issued a retraction and apologized for the violation.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).
ERSP’s inquiry focused on claims included in both print advertising and the product Website. Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:
- “Non-stimulant- Unlike ephedra or caffeine, FucoTHIN burns fat without stimulating the central nervous system – no nervousness, jitters, or lost sleep”
- “Dual Action Formula – FucoTHIN burns fat while providing antioxidant cellular protection”
- “Burns Belly Fat – FucoTHIN has been clinically proven to specifically metabolize visceral fat, more commonly referred to as belly fat.”
- “Patent Pending – FucoTHIN contains the original patent pending fucoxanthin formula used in clinical research.”
- “Fastest Selling Weight Management Product in America.”
During the course of the ERSP review, the marketer indicated to ERSP that it was in the process of voluntarily revising its advertising and had begun steps to bring its advertising into compliance with ERSP’s recommendations.
Following its review of the evidence, ERSP determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the general performance claims that state the product is a “Non- stimulant – Unlike ephedra or caffeine, FucoTHIN burns fat without stimulating the central nervous system – no nervousness, jitters, or lost sleep” and “Dual Action Formula – FucoTHIN burns fat while providing antioxidant cellular protection”.
ERSP noted that the marketer presented two clinical studies conducted on humans which demonstrated results. However, because ERSP determined the evidence didnot rise to the level of support necessary to substantiate the claim “clinically proven,” the marketer voluntarily revised the claim to refer to “clinical results.”
ERSP determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the establishment claim that “FucoTHIN contains the original patent pending fucoxanthin formula used in clinical research.” However, ERSP concluded that the marketer’s evidence did not adequately support the superiority claims in the context in which they were presented.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement said it has voluntarily modified its claims.