Friday, August 29, 2008

“Male Enhancement” Dietary Supplement Distributor Sentenced to 25 Years for Fraud

The Food Law Blog reports that "a federal court has sentenced Steven Warshak, founder of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, to 25 years in prison for crimes including mail fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and money laundering. In addition, Warshak and other defendants must forfeit money and assets in excess of $500 million. Berkeley reportedly made hefty profits from the sale of Enzyte, a dietary supplement, which was claimed to promote 'natural male enhancement.'"

The sentencing is based on an array of unlawful business practices, including unsubstantiated claims but also the placement of unauthorized charges on customers' credit cards.

The AP story is available here.

Nutritional Law Symposium - September 12, 2008

The fourth annual Nutritional Law Symposium will be held in Lehi, Utah, on September 12. The symposium promises to stimulate discussion on some important issues facing the industry. The Governor of the State of Utah is scheduled to attend and give the keynote address. For more information, visit:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

National Food Safety Education Month

The free training materials for the upcoming National Food Safety Education Month are now available in Spanish and English. These materials are designed around the 2008 theme, “Take Action to Prevent an Allergic Reaction,” (Tome Medidas para Prevenir las Reacciones Alérgicas) and help operators reinforce the importance of reducing the incidence of food allergy reactions in the establishment by focusing on five weekly themes:

  • Know the Common Food Allergens (Conozca las sustancias alergénicas más comunes)
  • Communication with the Customer (Cómo comunicarse con los clientes)
  • Avoiding Cross-Contact (Cómo evitar el contacto cruzado)
  • When Mistakes Happen (Cuando ocurren errores)
  • Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction (Los síntomas de las reacciones alérgicas) “

Full Press Release:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Makers of Airborne Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising; Agreement Brings Total Settlement Funds to $30 Million

Airborne Health, Inc., the maker of the popular Airborne Effervescent Health Formula, marketed as a cold prevention and treatment remedy, has agreed to pay up to $30 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it did not have adequate evidence to support its advertising claims. The FTC’s lawsuit also names Victoria Knight-McDowell, the former schoolteacher who invented Airborne, and her husband Thomas John McDowell. The monetary judgment will be satisfied by the defendants’ adding $6.5 million to the funds they have already agreed to pay to settle a related private class-action lawsuit, bringing the total settlement fund to $30 million. Consumers Have Until September 15 to Apply for Refunds.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FDA Public Hearing on Food Allergen Advisory Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has scheduled a public hearing on allergen advisory labeling on September 16, 2008, at the FDA’s Harvey W. Wiley Building in College Park, Maryland. Formal notice of the Hearing published in the Federal Register on August 8, 2008. (FR 73 46302)

FDA is developing a long-term strategy to assist manufacturers in using allergen advisory labeling that is truthful and not misleading, conveys a clear and uniform message, and adequately informs food allergic consumers and their caregivers. To that end, FDA is soliciting comments and information to assist the agency in determining how manufacturers currently use advisory labeling, how consumers interpret different advisory labeling statements, and what wording is likely to be most effective in communicating to consumers the likelihood that an allergen may be present in a food. The agency is also interested in receiving comments about whether consumers find advisory labeling helpful for making food purchasing decisions. This public hearing is the first step in closing existing knowledge gaps in developing our long-term strategy.

The hearing will include presentations by agency officials, invited speakers and members of the public. The Federal Register Notice and information regarding registration are available on the FDA Web site.