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NAD challenges respiratory-relief claims made by Nu Century Herbs for its supplement Resprin

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday recommended that Nu Century Herbs discontinue certain disease-state claims promoting the company’s Resprin dietary supplement.
 
NAD requested substantiation from Nu Century for claims made in Internet advertising, including: 

  • “The natural solutions for your asthma/allergy customers growing healthcare concerns;”

  • “Clinically shown to support upper respiratory health and clearer, easier breathing;” and

  • “This natural herbal breathing enhancer is specially formulated with a unique blend of 23 herbs, clinically shown to support respiratory health and clearer breathing.”

In addition to the specific claims above, the Council for Responsible Nutrition raised a concern over the consumer testimonials on the advertiser’s website.

The advertiser, upon receipt of NAD’s inquiry, informed NAD that it had permanently discontinued claims that state Respirin is “clinically shown” to produce any health benefit. Further, the advertiser asserted that it had discontinued all claims that reference specific diseases, including asthma and allergies, claims at the company’s website that reference “clinical support” and all testimonials.
 
NAD reviewed evidence indicating the ingredients in Respirin have been recognized and used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung health and considered the report of a TCM expert who concluded that “… there is sufficient support from a TCM perspective to support the use of Resprin as a formula to assist people with breathing difficulties.”
 
NAD concluded that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for certain claims based on TCM for the ingredients in Resprin, to the extent they are clearly stated as such, in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guides, i.e., “[claims] based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose.”
 
In this case, however, the advertiser maintained it could support its advertising claims independently of the TCM based evidence. NAD disagreed.
 
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue certain claims that go beyond TCM-based evidence, including claims that Resprin can “naturally enhance your breathing;” is “the natural way to clearer breathing;” or will help one “breathe easier.”
 
"Nu Century accepts the conclusions and the recommendations of NAD in its final case decision," the company stated. "Accordingly, Nu Century agrees to take these recommendations into account in the language of its future advertising."

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NACDS, NCPA ask FTC to just say no to Express Scripts-Medco merger

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday delivered their first formal letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in shared opposition to the proposed merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions.

The initial correspondence emphasized joint opposition to the proposed merger on the grounds of the merger’s anticompetitive impact on patients, consumers, the market and the entire healthcare delivery system.

The joint NACDS/NCPA letter can be read here.

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Weis Markets highlights local produce in new campaign

BY Allison Cerra

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets is saluting the contribution of 13 farmers who supply its stores with local produce.

The Your Neighbors, Our Farmers local produce campaign includes individual black and white photos of each farmer/ supplier, as well as a group shot, which are displayed in Weis Markets’ produce departments by region and product. These photos also are displayed on billboards and in weekly circulars, Weis said.

The retailer said that in 2011, it plans to purchase more than 24 million lbs. of local produce from approximately 150 farmers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.

"It is now peak season for local produce in our five state market area. For 99 years and counting, we’ve been purchasing and selling local produce because it offers the quality our customers have come to expect from us," Weis president and CEO David Hepfinger said. "It also helps us conserve resources and benefits the economies of the states where we operate. This year, we are proud to highlight the contributions of thirteen farmers and their families, some of whom have been supplying us for more than 40 years."

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