27 June 2008

Herbal Company Files Suit Against FTC

Now all of us greenies and herbalists types know that a large part of herblore is historical information, some of which is outdated, but all of it interesting and useful. I myself often post herbal information from A Modern Herbal first published in 1931. And there are plenty of older sources to be found online and in local libraries. We all know that some of the older information isn't always that scientific and sometimes there is occasional information that is flat out incorrect because it was based on observation by amateurs (like me). And some of it is just plain 'ol interesting with little bearing on medicinal properties. But does that mean the historical folklore should be removed altogether? I happen to think not and so does a New Mexico couple who have recently filed suit against the Federal Trade Commission. It turns out the FTC threatened to file an injunction against the Native Essence Herb Company if the owners, Mark and Marianne Hershiser, did not remove historical herblore from their site.

The FTC, however, maintains that claims based on historical or traditional herbal use should be substantiated by scientific evidence. The agency's guidelines also state that advertisers should not suggest, directly or indirectly, that a supplement would provide benefits to those suffering from diseases unless there's reliable evidence to substantiate such claims.

The Hershisers argue that the historical information posted on their Web site came from federal government Web sites concerning herbs and herbal remedies and they should be allowed to provide that information for their customers.

I find this rather amazing and wish I could find the specific governmental web sites the information came from. Imagine, a federal agency demanding the removal of government provided information because it might be incorrect or somehow harmful. And can someone explain to me how providing historical herblore to folks buying herbs is a bad thing? I mean, come on, anyone buying herbs or herbal products already knows a lot of the aforementioned information so why remove the information from a website that happens to make a business of it? This sounds like useless, pointless governmental meddling to me. What do you think of this?


genexs said...

Yikes! Thanx for posting about this.

Livia Indica said...

You're very welcome. I just couldn't quite believe when I first read of it.