ASA Adjudication on Finitro
2952 BG Alblasserdam
18 April 2012
Internet (on own site)
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
Summary of Council Decision:
Two issues were investigated both of which were Upheld.
Claims on a website for a joint pain supplement seen in January 2012 stated "Finitro. Breakthrough in rheumatism, arthritis and other joint pains". Text under the heading "Finitro Forte Plus" stated "Breakthrough in the production, development and maintenance of cartilage in the neck, hands, and other joints: Finitro Forte Plus with collagen type II. Finitro Forte Plus is regarded as a means for maintaining supple joints". Further down the page, a list of efficacy claims stated "… keeps joints flexible, is good for strong bones, supports the lubrication of joints, helps in maintaining cartilage, for the production and development of cartilage, has a soothing effect". Claims under the headline "Why Finitro Forte Plus?" stated "Finitro Forte Plus is a food supplement that contains non-denatured collagen type II, alongside glucosamine and chondroitin. Collagen type II is the main component of cartilage. Finitro Forte Plus also contains MSM and herbs such as Harpagophytum, Boswellia, Phellodendron and Urtica diocia. These herbs provide a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, which makes most people with joint pain notice a significant improvement". Claims under the heading "Instructions for use" stated "The cures may not be used as a replacement for a varied and balanced nutrition".
Claims on the "Questions and Answers" section of the website, stated "2. Question: How long can Finitro Forte Plus Plus [sic] be used? Answer: In most cases Finitro Forte Plus Plus [sic] is used for the period of 3 months. After 3 months you can continue to use Finitro Forte Plus Plus [sic] as maintenance for a life free of pain ... 4. Question: Does Finitro Forte Plus have any other positive therapeutic effects? Answer: Yes. Among other things its anti-inflammatory effect helps to ease all types of pain. It also has a rejuvenating effect, strengthens bones and has a positive effect on the skin and blood vessels ... 12. Question: Does Finitro Forte Plus really alleviate all types of rheumatic pain? Answer: There are many different kinds of rheumatic disorders. The type II collagen in Finitro Forte Plus reduces the autoimmune response at the level of the Peyer's patches. This active immunosuppressive process is known as oral tolerance. In addition to this the MSM (an anti-inflammatory substance produced by the body) and anti-inflammatory herbs in Finitro Forte Plus will also help make you feel much better. 13. Question: Is Finitro Forte Plus effective in treating a combination of arthritis and fibromyalgia? Answer: The type II collagen in Finitro Forte Plus effectively relieves arthritis and muscle pain".
1. Two complainants challenged whether the efficacy claims for the product were misleading and could be substantiated.
2. The ASA challenged whether the claims that the product could treat arthritis discouraged essential treatment for a condition for which medical supervision should be sought.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Finitro said they were unable to substantiate the claims because they were based on their own research which was confidential and could not be published.
We considered that claims such as "Breakthrough in rheumatism, arthritis and other joint pains", "Breakthrough in the production, development and maintenance of cartilage in the neck, hands, and other joints", "helps in maintaining cartilage, for the production of and development of cartilage, has a soothing effect" and "The type II collagen in Finitro Forte Plus effectively relieves arthritis and muscle pain" would need to be supported by robust, scientific evidence, such as clinical trials conducted on people, in order to substantiate them. Because we had not seen any such evidence, we concluded that the efficacy claims for the product had not been substantiated and were misleading.
On this point, claims on the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.11 (Exaggeration), 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products), 15.1 and 15.7 (Food supplements and other Vitamins and Minerals).
We noted that the claims that Finitro Forte Plus could be used "as maintenance for a life free of pain" and "Finitro Forte Plus effectively relieves arthritis and muscle pain". We considered that arthritis was a condition for which medical supervision should be sought. We noted that the supplement could be ordered direct from the website and as the treatment would therefore not be conducted under medical supervision we considered the website discouraged essential treatment for that condition.
On this point, claims on the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told Finitro not to make unsubstantiated efficacy claims for the product or claim that taking Finitro would result in a life free of pain. We also told them to remove claims that Finitro could treat or cure arthritis.