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Claims for genetically customized nutritional supplements: Show me the proof!

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When it comes to treatments for health conditions, it can be tough to tell useful products from those that don’t work as claimed. Dietary supplements may seem like harmless health boosters. But while some have proven benefits, many don't.

Two marketers of genetically customized nutritional supplements have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges of deceptive advertising, including representations that their personalized nutritional supplements treat diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, insomnia, and other ailments. Tens of thousands of consumers ordered and used the products, which cost more than $100 per month.

GeneLink, Inc. and its former subsidiary, foruTM International Corp., claimed that based on DNA obtained through a customer’s cheek swab, their customized nutritional supplements could compensate for that individual’s genetic disadvantages and that their customized skin repair serum was scientifically proven to work. Slight problem: According the FTC’s complaint, GeneLink and foru had inadequate proof to back up their claims.

To add insult to injury, GeneLink and foru also allegedly failed to take reasonable and appropriate security measures to safeguard personal information collected from nearly 30,000 people. That’s enough to give anyone insomnia.

But take a deep breath: These settlements are part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to ensure that health claims are adequately substantiated and to protect the security and confidentiality of consumers’ sensitive health and financial information.

To learn more, check out the FTC’s free information on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests, healthy living, and protecting your personal information.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness


Thanks for this. Up in Canada, trying to get some ads off the pages of websites, ads from a big net company, ads the websites let the big company pay them for the space but do not always know what it is. We just got a brand new anti-sp*m law so now what? now when I go visit a page to read about serious stuff like war, trr, human rights, what is in my face? what is in my face, are some ads that are very offensive to me, that are depicting women in rather unwarranted pose and dress, and clicking on the ad, one discovers, as well as the place where ad originates, one discovers that the ad may be about what? well one was an advert about some guy selling his view on the demise of world financial markets. The one that keeps coming up against even the websites contract with the big net company, as in such stuff as presented should be blocked, ditto for on my computer, but what is the ad for? why something called niagen, and some scientist, also from a reputable university there is some clip of him talking about it. WHo knows if he even knows his clip is being used thus? Anyway, this used to be junk we got in our mail boxes that we all fought, far and wide, not just in the USA not just in Canada, but in England and more places, to get this junk off our screens, out of mailboxes and now this. So, is there nothing then to do about it? Just absolutely fed up, and yes I did report it, they even changed the addressing on the ad after I complained, they changed it with a little Canadian flag and a one in front of their New Jersey number. The domain of the company and person owning the ad is listed in Culver City California. The owner's name has a name similar to another scientist but it is not him, this stuff just will never end. Is there any hope of going to a website, a news media site, either here or in US, and not seeing this garbage offensive to women ads? I would only hope. And what is niagen anyway? The ad photo or thumbnail as presented sure looked like it would be advertising for something else. And should not be there. At all, especially bypassing other mechanisms on the computer. I will never understand all this, and it puts one off reading to get information to be educated about what is going on in the world, but maybe that is the plan not only am I old..I truly will be old and stupid. Oh well, just wondering if anyone else had this and so glad you are engaged in this matter and the work ongoing. Good luck, and all the best from up here in Canada. Would submit a complaint but you are US, and don't think it will take my address, will it? Anyway, thanks.

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