A UK-based firm has been ordered to withdraw advertising for a joint health supplement, which made claims that were not supported by science, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Nature's Range Ltd, based in Jersey, advertised that the supplement Joint Ease could both relieve the pain from arthritis and repair the long-term damage to joints.
Text in the mailshot stated : 'If you've already reached the point of needing medical treatment for arthritis, you may be interested in trying to halt and repair the existing and ongoing damage to your joints..'.
The Authority said the advertisers had not provided any substantiation to support this claim or the efficacy of the product. The company also claimed the supplement had no known side-effects when taken with other medication but there was no evidence to support this statement, found the ASA.
Until European health claims regulation comes into force, planned for 2005, national advertising authorities are charged with ensuring that medical and scientific claims made about health-related products are backed by evidence from human clinical trials.
JointEase is widely available in the US and contains a combination of glucosamine, flaxseed oil, enzymes and other herbs. Nature's Range said that they had not intentionally sent mail-shots to UK addresses as they preferred to target the US market.
However the Authority upheld the complaints and was also concerned that the mailing invited recipients to diagnose their own ailments, considered a breach of the UK's code of advertising practice. The company was ordered to stop mailing in the UK.