CERC bid to curb misleading advts gets a boost
Gujarat FDCA issues show-cause notices to companies; orders sale and marketing of their products to be stopped
Take BT-36 for bust enhancement. Or, Kad Vadharo to increase height. Ayuway Herbal Noni controls cancer. Do you feel you have stepped into a world of fantasy and make-believe? Do these products in the market promising such â€˜miraculousâ€™ results really work?
Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad alerted the Food & Drugs Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat about 15 such advts it spotted in the local media. It urged FDCA to take necessary action to protect consumer interests. In an encouraging development, FDCA issued show-cause notices in 13 cases.
The 15 advts were of products that claimed to cure cancer, impotence, obesity, diabetes, enhance bust size, increase height and increase energy. These advts contravened provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. There are 54 diseases or conditions listed in the schedule to the Act which a product cannot claim to cure.
FDCA ordered the companies to stop publication of the objectionable advertisements and discontinue marketing and sale of the products being advertised. The companies were also asked to explain why legal action or any other stringent measures should not be taken against them. Further, every manufacturer/advertiser had to send a detailed explanation and compliance report to FDCA from the date of receipt of the show-cause notice.
A copy of the notice was sent to the Director, AYUSH for information and necessary action. It was also sent to the relevant licensing authorities based in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, UP, Haryana, New Delhi, Mumbai and Uttarakhand to take action against the errant manufacturers.
Given below is the list of advertisements sent by CERC to Gujarat FDCA:
[ Kindly click on table to view full size ]
GCERC enquired about a few products before sending the complaint to FDCA. Regarding BT-36, the company said it is recommended for women above the age of 14 years. It costs Rs. 1,000 for a course of one month which can be extended if needed. When we enquired about Kad Vadharo, it was found that the product is recommended for the age group 10-40 years! It is a three-month course, cost of which is Rs. 7,000 (special Diwali offer). Normal offer is Rs. 10,500.
Have you spotted such an advt? If yes, we request you to mail us a copy of the advt at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send the advt by post.
Misleading, false and objectionable advertisements are a menace in India luring gullible consumers into making unwise choices of goods and services. The vernacular media is full of such advts and they rarely come under the ambit of monitoring. Some of the products making false and misleading claims are heavily priced. Worse still, the advts are seen by people from low literacy and low income strata in urban and rural areas who are more likely to be duped.
Gujarat FDCAâ€™s decisive step to curb misleading advertisements is indeed good news for consumers and consumer organisations!