ERSP advises Lunada Biomedical to discontinue weight-loss claims for supplement Amberen
NEW YORK — The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program on Monday recommended that Lunada Biomedical discontinue weight-loss and other claims made for Amberen, a dietary supplement marketed to menopausal women. ERSP found, however, the company could support claims related to hot flashes, irritability, sleeplessness and “low libido.”
ERSP further recommended the marketer discontinue the claim that the “leading cause of weight gain in women over 40 is hormonal imbalance.” Further, ERSP recommended that the marketer modify its “guarantee” claim by expressly stating that the guarantee is a “money-back” guarantee.
During the course of ERSP’s inquiry, Lunada asserted that it had voluntarily discontinued all of the consumer testimonials and voluntarily modified the claim that “Amberen is the only product clinically proven to promote weight loss during menopause without additional exercise or restrictive dieting.”
Lunada provided ERSP with preliminary data from a recent clinical study, but did not provide ERSP with raw data that would allow ERSP to evaluate the statistical significance and reliability of the study. Given the omission of raw data, comprehensive findings and details about the testing protocol, ERSP recommended that the marketer discontinue its use of weight-loss claims.
ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to an anonymous competitive challenge.
Reports: Sears Holdings launches Mygofer same-day pick-up pilot in Chicago
NEW YORK — Sears Holdings will add some of its own products and allow customers to pick up products ordered from its flagship store in Chicago on the same day, according to published reports.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the company was seeking to cater more to urban professionals with the new program, called Mygofer Express, allowing them to pick up pre-ordered items ranging from groceries and OTC drugs to kitchen appliances. Customers will be able to buy products from Sears Holdings’ various brands like Craftsman, Kenmore and Lands’ End, as well as local Chicago vendors like Chicago Cupcake, Mon Ami Jewelry and The Clay Pot Flower Shop.
The company launched Mygofer, its e-commerce site, in 2009, converting a closed Kmart store in Joliet, Ill., to a warehouse and showroom with a drive-through, though the store closed earlier this month, according to the reports.
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USPSTF recommendation against vitamin D, calcium supplementation draws criticism
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Monday issued a trio of controversial recommendations regarding supplementing with vitamin D and calcium. Specifically, the Task Force determined that the current evidence was insufficient to support vitamin D and calcium supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures in premenopausal women, in men or in postmenopausal women and recommended against daily supplementation of vitamin D or calcium toward that end.
“These recommendations fail to recognize the well-established role of calcium and vitamin D in maintaining bone health," countered Taylor Wallace, senior director of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "If these recommendations are taken to heart, or misconstrued as general recommendations against calcium and vitamin D, consumers could be compromising their bone health and missing out on important other benefits from these nutrients. The bottom line: calcium and vitamin D are vital to staying healthy.”
These recommendations are not the first controversial conclusions to come out of USPSTF. Previously, the same organization recommended against both routine mammography screenings in women under 50 years and breast self-examinations, as well as prostate cancer screenings for men, putting them at odds with many in the medical community, CRN noted. “These kinds of preventive measures help save lives, and similarly, taking calcium and vitamin D are valuable preventative measures that provide a variety of health benefits, despite the outcome of one meta-analysis," Wallace said.
"The statement by the task force is contradicted by current research and may prove harmful to women at risk of fractures," added Cara Welch, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs for the Natural Products Association. "Studies continue to show the beneficial effects of calcium and vitamin D supplements."