Partner John Villafranco
co-authored the Nutritional Outlook
article, "Substantiating 'Made in USA' Claims for Dietary Supplements." A U.S. origin claim, like any other objective advertising claim, must be truthful and substantiated, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction to act against any false claims. The FTC has issued guidance regarding how to make an unqualified U.S. origin claim, but mostly for products with manufacturing processes that are very different from that of dietary supplements. As a result, it can be difficult for dietary supplement companies to determine whether a U.S. origin claim may be considered deceptive.
John outlined the FTC's three essential requirements for a claim of this type, which are that the last substantial transformation must have taken place in the United States, the final assembly or processing must have taken place in the United States, and the amount of foreign content must be negligible. He also advised advertisers not to forget the effect of state law on their marketing practices, as U.S. origin claims could trigger issues under both state and federal law.