A vitamin brand popular with Australian celebrities and influencers has released a statement saying it never meant to imply its turmeric formula cures cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sydney-based JSHealth, founded by multimillionaire Jessica Sepel, was slapped with a $26,640 fine by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for unlawful advertising after claiming its supplements could prevent ‘serious health conditions’.
The brand responded to the ruling in an Instagram post on Thursday ‘clarifying’ an earlier blog post which had advertised the supposed benefits of JSHealth’s Turmeric+ formula.
The statement also accused news outlets of having ‘misconstrued the situation’.
‘In this blog we introduced our formula and listed its official indications,’ a JSHealth representative wrote.
‘In a separate section, we briefly discussed C3 turmeric extract, an ingredient in our Turmeric+ formula, citing the research studies behind this isolated ingredient as we found them to be interesting.
‘It was never our intention to suggest that those studies relate to our formula itself, but simply the ingredient C3 extract alone.
‘We are passionate about ensuring our formulas meet strict guidelines and only use permitted health claims.’
The statement went on to say JSHealth takes the TGA fine ‘seriously’ and that ‘abiding by the regulatory law is a top priority’.
‘Our commitment is always to present information and education on products and ingredients with care, accuracy and integrity,’ the post continued.
‘Every formulation has had success because of the integrity and trust behind it. Thank you for your ongoing support.’
The brand was issued with two infringement notices for unlawful use of restricted and prohibited representations in advertising of listed complementary medicines.
The company’s advertising included claims the product could treat or prevent serious health conditions, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
These are restricted and prohibited representations not permitted to be used in advertising without permission from the TGA, which the company did not have.
Before a company can advertise to Australian consumers a therapeutic good can treat serious health conditions, it needs to lodge an application with the TGA which supports the claims it proposes to make.
Such an application should usually include scientific studies and other evidence to substantiate such a claim.
Advertisers of therapeutic goods are warned there are financial and reputational consequences of not complying with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.