Misleading ads fined over NT$200 million in Taiwan last year

Taipei-A total of 5,742 advertisements containing false claims were fined more than NT$200 million (US$7.02 million) in Taiwan last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Wednesday.

Most of the ads made misleading or exaggerated claims about health and beauty benefits, such as healthier skin, slimmer physique, enhanced immune system, treatment of eye diseases and improved skeletal muscle, said Hsu Chao-kai (???), an FDA official.

Such adverts were most frequently found for five items -- a Japanese product that claimed to cure baldness; a slimming supplement from Japan's Morishita Jintan Co.; a New Zealand boysenberry fruit product said to be able to reverse pulmonary fibrosis; and a fermented wild bilberry extract dietary supplement sold as a treatment or cure for glaucoma and cataracts.

Also fined were ads for a product made from concentrated essence of ostrich bones and meat said to allow users to increase muscle strength and walk with greater energy, according to Hsu.

The FDA issued 5,742 fines for ads making untruthful or exaggerated claims totaling NT$210 million last year, down from 6,275 fines a year earlier, he said.

Ads that make misleading or false claims related to food products can be fined between NT$40,000 and NT$4 million, while those making false claims about medical benefits are liable to a fine ranging from NT$600,000-NT$5 million.

Ads that make false or exaggerated statements related to cosmetics and beauty care products featuring medical claims can be fined between NT$600,000-NT$5 million, according to Hsu.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel