FTC’s ‘Operation CBDeceit’: How to Understand It and What To Watch For Going Forward


<![CDATA[In December 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced proposed settlements with six CBD companies accused of making a broad range of unsubstantiated health claims, including that CBD can treat cancer, heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, and chronic pain, among others. Nicknamed “Operation CBDeceit,” the enforcement sweep was part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to protect consumers from false, deceptive, and misleading health claims made in advertisements on websites, through social media, and on other platforms. These settlements became final in early March 2021. For those who have been monitoring regulatory enforcement relating to CBD claims, the types of claims listed in the FTC’s Complaints are familiar reading. Prior FTC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement has focused on products that featured claims of treating chronic diseases and health conditions similar to the claims at issue in the “Operation CBDeceit” settlements. In that respect, these settlements do not differ from prior enforcement. In other respects, though, these settlements are different from prior FTC enforcement on CBD claims. By including multiple companies and announcing all settlements at once, the CBDeceit announcement was coordinated to send an authoritative message to the CBD industry, broadly that the law requires companies to have robust evidence known as “competent and reliable scientific evidence” to support their health claims, a standard that applies to health claims for all consumer products. These settlements also name not just the company as a respondent, but also individuals in their official capacity as corporate officers. Given the significant degree of entrepreneurial activity in the CBD and hemp industries, this should be understood as an indication that the FTC will look to hold individuals liable as a way of ensuring compliance with the settlement agreement, particularly where the respondent company is comprised of only a few people. In…

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Source : FTC’s ‘Operation CBDeceit’: How to Understand It and What To Watch For Going Forward

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