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TV Ads for Sex Supplement Challenged

Thursday, September 23, 2004; Page A30

Pro-Erex. Big Daddy. Suregasm. There is little doubt what these supplements are promising, but the evidence that they actually can enhance a man's sexual performance falls short, a consumer group said Wednesday.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, best known for taking the fun out of Chinese takeout and ice cream by revealing how unhealthful such treats are, is now taking on the nonprescription sex supplement industry.

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The CSPI filed a complaint yesterday with the Federal Trade Commission saying that one company, Cincinnati-based Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, had crossed the line in television ads touting its supplement Enzyte.

"We urge the Federal Trade Commission to immediately enjoin the national television advertisements of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, for the herbal supplement Enzyte," the complaint, faxed to the FTC, reads.

"The FTC requires that advertising claims for dietary supplements, including those based on testimonials of users, 'be backed by sound, scientific evidence.' Berkeley, however, has conceded that it has no scientific studies of Enzyte substantiating any of Berkeley's claims."

A spokesman for Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals was not immediately available.

Under U.S. law, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the way prescription drugs are.

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