Bee Sweet, Inc. and Its Owner Agree to Settle FTC Charges
of False Health Claims for Bee-Pollen Products
FTC News Release
October 25, 1994
Bee-Sweet, Inc., a North Carolina-based firm, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its bee-pollen products could treat several physical ailments, such as allergies, arthritis, anorexia, and obesity. Under the proposed settlement agreement, Bee-Sweet and corporate officer Benny G. Morgan would be prohibited from making these or other false or unsubstantiated health claims in the future. Bee-Sweet sells its products to consumers primarily through roadside restaurants, located in 40 states, that purchase the products for resale.
According to the FTC's complaint detailing the allegations, Bee-Sweet's advertising of bee-pollen products contained statements, such as:
- "For centuries people have been using nature's perfect food [bee pollen] as nutritional enhancement or as an aid in the treatment of: Anemia, Sexual Stamina, Back Pain, Allergies, Weight Control, Digestive Problems, Arthritic Symptoms, [and] Pulse rate Control"; and
- "Studies performed by doctors around the world have shown bee pollen to be effective in treating illnesses from allergies to arthritis, anorexia to overweight, fatigue to arteriosclerosis."
Through these and other statements, the FTC alleged, Bee-Sweet and Morgan represented that bee pollen and bee propolis are effective in treating these and other diseases and conditions; that scientific evidence proves bee products' effectiveness in treating certain conditions; and that bee propolis is an effective antibiotic. These representations are false and unsubstantiated, the FTC charged.
The proposed consent agreement to settle these charges, announced today for public comment, would prohibit Bee-Sweet and Morgan from representing that bee-pollen products are effective as a cure or in mitigating the conditions and physical ailments set forth in the complaint. It also would require all future claims by the respondents that any product or service affects a user's health or physical condition to be supported by reliable and competent scientific evidence.
The proposed agreement also would require Bee-Sweet to notify all resellers of its products for the last 12 months about the settlement with the FTC. Finally, Bee-Sweet and Morgan have agreed not to misrepresent any test or study in the future.
This is the fourth Commission action addressing false and misleading advertising claims for bee-pollen and related products such as bee propolis. This case was handled by the FTC's New York Regional Office.
The Commission vote to accept the proposed agreement for public comment was 3-0, with Commissioner Christine A. Varney not participating.
- In the Matter of Bee-Sweet, and Benny G. Morgan. 119 FTC 57, FTC Docket No. 3550, FTC File No. 902-3304, FR Doc. 94-27569.
This page was posted on December 23, 2005.