Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Max International Modify and Discontinue Certain Product Performance Claims
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McLean, VA – August 3, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that Max International, LLC, a direct selling company that markets a line of wellness products, discontinue certain health-related product claims made by Max International independent salesforce members on social media.
The following product claims were brought to Max International’s attention by DSSRC as part of its ongoing independent monitoring of the direct selling marketplace:
- “I have a product that can help my health. I suffered from stomach ulcers for 5 years. I have been to a lot of hospitals and I’ve been on a lot of medications and have seen no improvement. I’ve been on Max Longevity for some months and I can testify that I am not suffering from my stomach ulcer again.”
- “CellGevity – Reverse Ailments like: Cancer, Diabetes, Arthritis, Asthma, Stroke Kidney Problems;
- *POTENTIAL BENEFICIARIES FROM CELLGEVITY*
- Diabetes and complications like neuropathy, nephropathy, foot ulcers
- Chronic leg ulcers e.g. vascular ulcers etc.
- Stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis
- Hypertension, heart disease
- Kidney disease including patients on dialysis
- Sickle cell disease (to reduce crisis)
- Male and female infertility (if blocked tubes have been ruled out as a cause)
- Chronic body aches and pains e.g., back, waist pain, arthritis, chronic pelvic pain etc.;
- Erectile dysfunction
- HIV (to reduce complications)
- Cancers (to retard progression)
- Hepatitis (to reduce viral load, liver disease (to retard progression)
- Difficulty with wound healing eg postoperative etc.
- Asthma, allergies
- Glaucoma, cataract
- Skin disorders, wrinkled and aging skin
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Gastritis(Stomach ulcers)k
- *Anyone at 40 years and above who wants a healthy life and wants to prevent the above problems!”
- “300% better than any other alternatives. Best immune booster and anti-oxidant detoxifier and antiaging supplement - Low Glutathione is associated with over 70 diseases and health challenges including: Diabetes, Stroke, Arthritis, Erectile Dysfunction, Male and female Infertility, Cataract, Glaucoma, Ulcer, Alzheimer’s Disease and memory loss, Sickle Cell, Asthma, Autism, Cancer, Kidney Disease, Hepatitis.”
Max International was responsive to DSSRC’s inquiry and participated in good faith. DSSRC conveyed its ongoing concern over the aggressive health-related messages being communicated by these posts and Max International did not attempt to provide substantiation for the claims.
DSSRC recognized that all of the social media posts that were the subject of the inquiry originated outside of the United States. When a direct selling company is made aware of improper product (or income) claims that were made by an individual that was not within its geographical control or who was an active distributor when such claim was made but that has since become an inactive distributor of the company, DSSRC acknowledges that the direct selling company may not be able to require such salesforce members to remove a social media post. DSSRC instead recommended that the direct selling company make a bona fide, good faith effort to have the improper claim removed.
As noted in previous self-regulatory cases, health-related claims must be supported by reliable, competent scientific evidence. Competent and reliable scientific evidence, as defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) includes, “tests, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.”
Despite good faith efforts by Max International, four of the social media posts identified in the inquiry remain active and available to the public. Max International provided copies of the cease and desist letters delivered to the salesforce members responsible for the social media posts, and DSSRC will continue to check the status of those remaining posts.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council: The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent, impartial monitoring, dispute resolution, and enforcement of false product claims and income representations made by direct selling companies and their salesforce members across digital platforms. The DSSRC seeks to establish high standards of integrity and business ethics for all direct selling companies in the marketplace.