Take a look around at the health industry. Natural health products are everywhere. Herbs and dietary supplements have gone mainstream in the last 20 years. The MLM industry accounts for a very substantial portion of sales of nutritional products.

Distributors are often perplexed as to what they can say about the dietary supplements they sell. The answer can be found in federal legislation, adopted in 1994, called DSHEA, the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act.

The legislation was the result of several years of tension between marketers of dietary supplements and the FDA, in which the FDA designated a variety of products as “unapproved drugs” because health claims were being made. To clarify what could be said, DSHEA was adopted and provided that health claims could be made on dietary supplements in terms of how they supported structure and function claims of the body.

Claims such as “supports healthy immune systems” or “supports heart health” could be made if marketers possessed competent, scientific evidence of the products’ effectiveness.

However, marketers could not make medical or therapeutic claims, or suggest that dietary supplements were meant to treat diseases or adverse health conditions. And that is the current state of affairs.

For more information on product claims, read the article “FDA Health Claims: The Final Rules” or “Dietary Supplements: An Advertising Guide for the Industry.”

Also watch the video What is the Relationship between MLM and the FTC? to learn more about the FTC and the network marketing industry.

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