Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2087776
 
 

Footnotes (90)



 


 



In Defense of the Pfizer Factors


Howard Beales


George Washington University - School of Business

Timothy J. Muris


George Mason University School of Law

Robert Pitofsky


Georgetown University Law Center

May 2012

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-49

Abstract:     
Since the Federal Trade Commission’s 1972 Pfizer decision, advertisers have been required to possess and rely on a “reasonable basis” for product claims. From its inception, the requirement was a flexible one, taking into account the costs and benefits of requiring additional substantiating evidence. In particular, the Commission has considered the relative costs of possible errors in setting the level of evidence, evaluating both the costs of mistakenly allowing false claims and the costs of mistakenly prohibiting truthful claims. In contrast to the FTC, the FDA applies a less flexible standard, often requiring elaborate scientific evidence before even non-drug products can make claims about health and nutrition benefits. In a notable clash between these conflicting approaches, the FTC, joined by the National Cancer Institute, overcame the FDA’s objections to Kellogg’s 1984 claims that diets high in fiber could reduce the risks of cancer. Despite previous bipartisan application of the substantiation doctrine, the current FTC is replacing its flexible standard with stringent evidentiary standards similar to those required for new drugs. This approach threatens to deny consumers the benefits of information that enhances the performance of product markets.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: acai berry products, Advertising Substantiation Policy Statement, Better Business Bureau, cancer, cereal, dietary supplements, education, false, fiber, Firestone, First Amendment, Food Drug Administration, free speech, George Stigler, labeling, Lanham Act, NCI, nutrition, public comment

JEL Classification: I18, K23, L65, L66, Q18

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: June 19, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Beales, Howard and Muris, Timothy J. and Pitofsky, Robert, In Defense of the Pfizer Factors (May 2012). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-49. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2087776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2087776

Contact Information

Howard Beales
George Washington University - School of Business ( email )
Washington, DC 20052
United States
Timothy J. Muris (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8050 (Phone)
703-993-8088 (Fax)
Robert Pitofsky
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 769
Downloads: 94
Download Rank: 166,863
Footnotes:  90

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.297 seconds