Federal Trade Commission is being sued over the use of history
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- Federal Trade Commission is being sued over the use of history
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Source: Law Offices of Richard A Jaffe
Native Essence Herb Company Sues FTC
Wednesday June 25, 2:28 pm ET
TAOS, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time, the Federal Trade
Commission is being sued over the use of history.
A New Mexico herb company says the First Amendment gives it the right to
tell customers the historical use of herbs in treating serious diseases. The
FTC says this violates its guidelines.
Now the issue is headed to court. Native Essence Herb Company, and its
owners Mark and Marianne Hershiser, has sued to strike down the FTC's
The lawsuit was filed by Houston attorney Richard A. Jaffe, Esq., a leading
health care attorney and the author of "Galileo's Lawyer," an insider's look
into the battles between the government and the complementary medicine
"Herb sellers should be able to tell consumers that an herb has a long
historical use to treat a disease," says Jaffe. "The FTC's prohibition of
this kind of truthful information is unreasonable and unconstitutional."
The lawsuit asks the federal court to declare the FTC's guidelines on
"historical use claims" for herbal remedies a violation of the First
Company owner Hershiser wants to post this historical use information on his
website, much of which is taken from federal government websites, and he
wants the courts to allow him that right.
"This is a precedent-setting case," Jaffe says. "The issue has never been
litigated; it not only affects the Hershisers, but all companies which sell
In April 2008, the FTC told the New Mexico herb company that its website
contained false, misleading or unsubstantiated claims, including claims that
some of the listed herbs have been used for hundreds or thousands of years
by Native Americans and other cultures. The FTC received no consumer
complaints, yet it threatened to file an injunction action against the
Native Essence removed that information about their products from their
website. However, the company owners decided not to settle with the FTC, but
file suit to overturn the FTC's advertising guidelines and seek a judicial
ruling allowing sellers of herbal remedies to provide consumers with
information found on government websites and other recognized legitimate
Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe
Richard Jaffe, Esq., 713-626-3550
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