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The Federal Trade Commission has made a ruling against food
manufacturer POM Wonderful that institutes a new and impossibly strict standard
for making health claims about its products in advertising: the agency will
random-controlled trials for such claims in the future. This is the standard
used by the FDA when approving drugs! The FTC is supposed to regulate
advertising, not decide what is a drug. Its mandate is to ensure that
advertisements are not deceptive or misleading—something that certainly does
not require the pharmaceutical RTC standard.
There is no statute that justifies this. The agency is making up law
without congressional approval. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) tried and
failed to give the agency the power to do this. In 2010, Waxman offered an
amendment that would have given the FTC expanded powers and rulemaking
authority. (It lost that authority in the 1980s because Congress thought the FTC
was abusing it.) The amendment failed, but the agency is now making new and
unauthorized rules anyway.
Contact your senators and representative, and tell them you won’t put up
with the FTC’s naked power grab. Tell them this is the same abuse of power that
made Congress remove the agency’s rulemaking authority three decades ago. Ask
them to take action against the FTC’s blatant lawlessness and disregard of
Please Stop the FTC's New Power Grab!
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]