Across the Nutra-verse: US FTC issues influencer guidance, CBD as a novel food in Germany, more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / denphumi
© Getty Images / denphumi

Related tags: Cbd, Functional foods, influencers, Transparency

It’s been a busy week for the nutra- industry around the world: Stay on top of the global nutra-news with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


FTC issues guidance about influencer transparency

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released guidance called “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers” to highlight best practices on how to ensure consumers are aware of advertising relationships.

Michael Ostheimer, a staff attorney in the FTC’s division of advertising practices told NutraIngredients-USA that it’s not just up to the influencers to be transparent. Brands also have a program in place to make it obvious when they have hired influencers directly or otherwise provided incentives to them. 

“We have brought enforcement actions against brands for their influencers not being transparent. Advertisers need to have reasonable programs in place to train and monitor their influencers,”​ he said.

Ostheimer offered a few elements that he said every program should have:

1. Given an advertiser’s responsibility for substantiating objective product claims, it should explain to its influencers what they can (and can’t) say about its products – for example, providing a list of the health claims they can make for its products, along with instructions not to go beyond those claims;

2. It should instruct influencers on their responsibilities for disclosing their connections and how to do so;

3. To the extent that the advertiser reviews or pre-approves posts, it should not approve posts without proper disclosures;

4. The advertiser should periodically search for what its incentivized influencers are saying, and follow up on questionable practices.

For more on this from NutraIngredients-USA, please click HERE​.


Germany confirms novel food classification of CBD

Citing a lack of evidence of consumption before 15 May 1997, the Germany government has confirmed that cannabidiol (CBD) is to be classified as novel food, echoing the stance of the European Commission (EC), which added CBD to its Novel Food Catalogue in January.

The German government added that all applications must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

“The significance of the ruling, beyond the technical legal arguments made under German law, is that it reaffirms that CBD hemp flowering bud extracts (as well as CBD "crystals"), when marketed as food or food supplements as in this case, are unauthorized novel foods,”​ explains Luca Bucchini, managing director of food regulation specialists Hylobates Consulting.

“Therefore, the authorities were right in blocking the commercialization of the products.”

For more information on this, please click HERE​.


Japan’s Kirin expands iMUSE functional food brand to Vietnam

Kirin has expanded availability of its iMUSE products for the first time beyond Japan, with the launch of a functional probiotic beverage in Vietnam.

The iMUSE yoghurt & lemon flavored drink contains 100 billion Lactococcus lactis​ strain Plasma, which is reported to have immune health benefits, according to Kirin.

Takeshi Fukushima, general manager of marketing at Interfood Shareholding Company (Kirin Holdings subsidiary) told NutraIngredients-Asia​, the first month of sales in Vietnam achieved 250% versus target.

It retails for 13,000VND (US$0.50) per 280ml at supermarkets, convenience stores, school cafeterias, and school stores in Vietnam.

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