FTC Charges New York Distributor of Dietary Food Supplements
with Making False and Unsubstantiated Therapeutic Claims

Consent Agreement Settles Charges

FTC News Release
August 2, 1990

The Federal Trade Commission has charged a New York company with making false and unsubstantiated therapeutic claims in its Chinese-language advertising for five dietary food supplement products. Under a consent agreement announced today for public comment, American Life Nutrition, Inc. ("ALN"), American Life FarFun, Inc., and Ling Won Tong are prohibited from making false and unsubstantiated health efficacy claims for their dietary food supplement products in the future.

ALN, a wholesale distributor of dietary food supplements, advertises its products in Chinese-language newspapers and magazines in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto, Canada, and also on Chinese-language radio, TV and movie theaters. ALN markets LIFE FARFUN 100% Natural Honeybee Pollen Nuggets, AMERICAN YUYU KING Supernatural Fish Oil Concentrate, GELEE ROYALE AMERICAINE Fresh Pure Natural American Royal Jelly, MILLION VITAMINS Complete Vitamins and Minerals, and GOOD DARLING Pure Deep Sea Oyster Shell Calcium With Vitamin D. The products retail from $19.50 to $22.50 per bottle.

According to the complaint accompanying the agreement, ALN has advertised its products as preventing or treating a host of diseases and conditions, including breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, rubella, arthritis, colds, tuberculosis, rheumatism, asthma, hay fever, kidney disease, insomnia, arteriosclerosis, constipation, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, cerebral apoplexy, and low sex drive, among others.

Under the consent agreement, ALN is prohibited from making a number of specified prevention or treatment claims for these food products. Also, ALN cannot make an efficacy, safety or performance claim for any food or drug in its advertisements, unless it possesses and relies upon "competent and reliable" scientific evidence that substantiates the representations.

The consent order requires ALN to remedy its previous false claims by publishing retractions in eight newspapers and magazines: World Journal Daily, United Journal, Sing Tao Jih Pao, The Young China Daily, Chinese Times, China Times Weekly, World Journal Weekly, and New York Weekly Entertainment, and by sending corrective notices to past wholesale and retail purchasers.

A Chinese-language press release in this matter is also available.

ALN is based in New York City. The FTC's New York Regional Office handled the investigation.

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