WASHINGTON (AP) The ValueVision home shopping network agreed on
Thursday to pay $215,000 to resolve federal charges that it made unproven health
claims about a dietary supplement promoted to reduce fatigue caused by
prescription drugs and diseases including diabetes and cancer.
The Federal Trade Commission said ValueVision International Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minn., violated a July 2001 order that barred the company from making unsubstantiated health claims about food, drugs, supplements or weight-loss products.
The FTC said ValueVision, which operates the ShopNBC
cable television home shopping service, didn't have proof to support its
television promotions for the 'Physician's RX' dietary supplement.
The ads said the product relieves arthritis symptoms and increases energy and stamina within 10 days for people suffering from various diseases, the FTC said.
ValueVision spokesman Anthony Giombetti said the company settled to avoid the legal expense of disputing the FTC's allegations.
'We take our FTC compliance obligations very seriously and have further strengthened our procedures since this situation arose over two years ago,' he said.
By settling, the company does not admit breaking any law.
The 2001 order required the company to give refunds to consumers who bought certain weight loss, cellulite treatment and anti-hair loss products that the FTC said had been promoted with unproven claims.
Founded in 1991, ValueVision is the nation's third-largest home shopping network, behind QVC and the Home Shopping Network. General Electric, which also owns NBC, owns 40 percent of ValueVision.
The network offers jewelry, computers, health and
cosmetic products through 24-hour television programming and a Web