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Notice

NBTY, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed Consent Agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of Federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before January 14, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments electronically or in paper form. Comments should refer to “NBTY, File No. 102 3080” to facilitate the organization of comments. Please note that your comment—including your name and your State—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including on the publicly accessible FTC Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm.

Because comments will be made public, they should not include any sensitive personal information, such as an individual's Social Security Number; date of birth; driver's license number or other State identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. Comments also should not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, comments should not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential * * *.,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and Commission Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).[1]

Because paper mail addressed to the FTC is subject to delay due to heightened security screening, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form. Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by using the following Web link: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​nbty and following the instructions on the Web-based form. To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the Web-based form at the Web link: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​nbty. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/​search/​index.jsp, you may also file an electronic comment through that Web site. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it. You may also visit the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/​ to read the Notice and the news release describing it.

A comment filed in paper form should include the “NBTY, File No. 102 3080” reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

The Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”) and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives, whether filed in paper or electronic form. Comments received will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.shtm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Devin Domond (202-326-2610), Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and § 2.34 the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for December 13, 2010), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​actions.shtm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.

Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from NBTY, Inc., NatureSmart LLC, and Rexall Sundown, Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”).

The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter involves the advertising and promotion of the following products in Respondents' Disney/Start Printed Page 79378Marvel line of children's multivitamin and mineral dietary supplements: (1) Disney Princess Complete; (2) Disney Princess Gummies; (3) Disney Pixar Cars Gummies; (4) Disney Winnie the Pooh Gummies; (5) Disney Tigger & Pooh Gummies; (6) Disney Pixar Finding Nemo Gummies; (7) Disney Pixar Wall-E Gummies; (8) Disney Pixar Toy Story Gummies; (9) Marvel Heroes Complete; and (10) Marvel Heroes Gummies (collectively, the “NBTY Products”).

According to the FTC complaint, Respondents represented, in advertisements, that the NBTY Products contained a significant amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, a polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acid) or an amount comparable to 100 mg of DHA. The complaint alleges that this claim is false or misleading because, in fact, a daily serving of the NBTY products only contained either 0.1 mg of DHA (which is one thousandth of 100 mg) or 0.05 mg of DHA (which is five ten-thousandths of 100 mg).

The Commission also charges that Respondents represented that the DHA provided by a daily serving of the NBTY Products promoted healthy brain and eye development in children two years of age and older. The FTC alleges that this claim is false or misleading because Respondents failed to have evidence to substantiate it.

The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent Respondents from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I of the proposed order prohibits Respondents from misrepresenting that any product contains a specific ingredient or specific numerical amount of any ingredient.

Part II of the proposed order prohibits Respondents from making any representations in advertising for any product about the health benefits, performance, or efficacy of the product, unless the representation is true and non-misleading. In addition, Respondents must possess competent and reliable scientific evidence sufficient in quality and quantity, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, to support such claims as true.

Part III of the proposed order states that the order does not prohibit Respondents from making representations for any drug that are permitted in labeling for that drug under any tentative or final standard promulgated by the FDA, or under any new drug application approved by the FDA. This part of the proposed order also states that the order does not prohibit Respondents from making representations for any product that are specifically permitted in labeling for that product by regulations issued by the FDA under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.

Part IV of the proposed order requires Respondents to pay two million, one hundred thousand dollars ($2,100,000) to the Commission to be used for equitable relief, including restitution, consumer redress, and any attendant expenses for the administration of such equitable relief.

Parts V through VIII of the proposed order require Respondents to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements; to provide copies of the order to certain personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part IX provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify their terms in any way.

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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. 2010-31823 Filed 12-17-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P