Here is what you saw on Good Day Alabama for January 21, 2014:
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joins us live from Lakeshore Foundation with help from Carol Kutik on Exercise Tuesday. For more information, call (205) 313-7400.
BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us to discuss why the FTC comes down on food sprinkles, thigh creams, and a dietary supplement. On January 7 the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission) announced a new law enforcement initiative to stop marketers from marketing weight loss products using deceptive advertising. Several companies are the most recent targets of the initiative called "Operation Failed Resolution":
· Sensa: we actually did a segment on the deceptive claims on this show last year. The FTC charged marketers of Sensa with deceptive advertising based on studies that claimed sprinkling the powder on food would trigger the brain to decrease appetite and that consumers would lose 30 pounds over 6 months. The studies were never published in a peer reviewed journal - only on the companies website. I've seen the studies on their website and they vague with poor detail and description of the study population and methods and are of very poor research design (no control group).
o Dr. Alan Hirsch - the neuropsychiatrist who patented the Sensa powder and has ownership stake in the company - describes himself on the Sensa website to be an expert in the science of smell and taste yet few of his studies that he claims are published in scientific journals actually are
o The company will have to return $26.5 million to consumers who bought the product
o Beth's guess is that consumers will be notified but if they bought Sensa and have questions on getting reimbursement, but if you bought Sensa and have questions, call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357
· L'Occitane's "cellulite fighter" Almond Shaping Delight has also come under the FTC's scrutiny. The company claims that the cream will trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks. The FTC settlement proposes to ban the company from making any further deceptive claims.
· HCG Diet Direct: The supplement supposedly contains Human Chorionic Gonadotropin - a hormone that is produced in the placenta and has been falsely promoted as a fast weight loss aid for several decades. the defendants in this case are banned from making claims without sufficient evidence (at least two adequate well-controlled human clinical studies) to support their claims. The FTC imposed a $3.2 million judgment but suspended it base on the inability of the defendants ability to pay.
Will this herald a new era of marketing responsibility? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, consumers need to be well-informed when it comes to weight loss product claims. We'll talk more in coming weeks about how to spot false and deceptive claims.
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us with his four strategies to protect yourself from identity theft. Hackers breached Target's security system and stole credit information from an estimated 110 million customers. Just this past week, upscale retailer, Neiman Marcus reported that their security systems had been breached and customer credit information was also stolen. Stewart predict that these incidents will turn into a trend and become one of the biggest financial news stories of the year. At the epicenter of the story is the current technology used by credit card companies in America. Our credit cards use primarily a 'swipe' system to collect data at the cash register. The more technologically advanced systems, used in Europe, use a 'smart chip' to encrypt the customer data. You can expect to see our credit card companies migrate to the smart chip technology but the conversion will likely take several years. What can you do to protect yourself in the meantime? Here are 5 steps you can take right now:
1. Get your free credit report. Federal law allows you to get a free credit report (visit www.annualcreditreport.com) once every twelve months from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Use these reports to check for accuracy in your file and to make certain no accounts have been opened in your name that you are not aware of.
2. Monitor your credit card and bank account activity. Virtually all credit card companies and most banks have a smart phone app that allows you to quickly review your account activity.
3. Set up fraud alerts and credit freezes. If someone has stolen your credit information or you suspect you are vulnerable to theft, you can place fraud alert or credit freeze on your account. Fraud alerts are good for ninety days and then are automatically removed unless you re-establish them.
4. Hire a monitoring service. If you don't have the time or are not inclined to do this yourself, there are services that will do this for you for a monthly fee of around $20 to $30 per month.
For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.
WILDLIFE EXPERT - Stuart R. Goldsby is the Regional Hunter Education Coordinator for Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. He discusses firearms safety and the ten commandments. He showed us a detailed page from the Hunter Safety Course Student Manual.... He pointed out the 4 Primary Rules which if consistently followed will prevent most if not all firearms incidents.
The Four Primary Rules of Firearm Safety
1. Watch that muzzle! Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
2. Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun. It might be, even if you think it isn't.
3. Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop-don't shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge. Stuart emphasizes that hunting and firearms usage is very safe among most activities. He also emphasizes that monies from the sale of hunting and fishing equipment - guns, ammo, rods&reels, and baits - fund state wildlife projects including education. For more information call Outdoor Alabama's Wildlife section 334-242-3469, Enforcement section 334-242-3467, Fisheries section 334-242-3471, or visit outdooralabama.com.
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, Vanessa Hudgens joins us with the scoop on her latest flick - Gimme Shelter! Calling all cat fans.... We tell you all about the feline fanciers cat show! The veterinarian joins us to take your questions about your pets! And we check out what's going on at Aldridge Gardens this month! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!