A Public Spanking
Do you enjoy seeing overactive federal regulators get a swift kick in the pants and sent packing?
That’s what Judge Dennis Cavanaugh of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey recently did when he told the Federal Trade Commission to lighten up and get out of the way of a company that manufactures unique dietary supplements of proven quality and safety.
And if you have a desire to protect and strengthen your aging bones, this is a big win for you too.
Filing motions out of thin air
Over the past 10 years, HSI members have learned about several excellent dietary supplements made by LaneLabs. Unfortunately, the company has occasionally run afoul of regulators (including the FDA) who seem determined to put them out of business.
In 2000, in the wake of one of those dustups, LaneLabs representatives responded to an FTC consent order by agreeing to refrain from making any claims about their health products unless they could support the claims with scientific evidence.
Fair enough. But in early 2007, the FTC filed a motion to hold LaneLabs in contempt of that consent order. And to put some teeth in the deal, agency officials asked the court to fine the company $24 million.
Clearly, FTC attorneys thought they had this one buttoned up. And looking back, you’ve got to wonder why…
- Consumer complaints against the products in question numbered exactly zero
- The FTC could not produce evidence that the two products in question had caused anyone any harm
- None of the FTC expert witnesses were willing to state that the products were ineffective or risky.
Last month Judge Cavanaugh issued his opinion. Siding with LaneLabs, he noted that the company had hired a compliance officer, conducted research, and then hired qualified scientists to interpret the evidence. The judge wrote, “This is not a case of a company making claims out of thin air.”
Gee…I hope the guys at the FTC didn’t go ahead and already spend that $24 million they were expecting.
Ahead of the curve
One of the contested products in the FTC motion was Fertil Male, a Peruvian root extract, proven to enhance male fertility by boosting sperm count and motility.
The other product was AdvaCal – a remarkable calcium supplement that HSI members first heard about several months before AdvaCal actually went on the market in 2000. (That’s what you call staying ahead of the curve.)
As we told members in the July 1999 HSI Members Alert, AdvaCal was developed by Dr. Takuo Fujita, who solved an important problem with calcium: The mineral is not easily absorbed by the body.
Dr. Fujita began with oyster shells – a rich source of calcium. But simply crushing the shells into powder isn’t acceptable because they contain heavy metals. So Dr. Fujita superheated the shells, which burned off heavy metals (including lead), and altered the chemistry of the calcium in such a way that the mineral is better absorbed. Then Dr. Fujita added specially processed algae that further enhances absorption.
LaneLabs claims that AdvaCal is “clinically shown to be three times more absorbable than other calciums.”
Judge Cavanaugh is not inclined to disagree.
You can find out more about AdvaCal at the website for LaneLabs (lanelabs.com).
And, you can join HSI members who regularly get the inside scoop like this on cutting edge treatments. You’ll find all you need to know here.
“Court Rules Against FTC in Supplement Ad Case” Lorraine Heller, NutraIngredients-USA, 8/17/09, nutraingredients- usa.com
“The Battle for Your Bones” HSI Members Alert, 7/1/99, hsionline.com