Does Libertarian Liberty Include The Right To Lie To Your Customers?
According to FEC records, Judy Kay Gray made about nine thousand dollars in independent expenditures yesterday in order to help the Ron Paul for President campaign by purchasing huge stacks of “super brochures”. Super brochures? Oh, super.
Who is this Judy Kay Gray, and how did she get so much spare cash that she can afford to toss thousands of dollars to help a losing presidential campaign?
Judy Kay Gray is the founder of North American Herb and Spice. North American Herb and Spice was started on the strength of just one line of products: “Oreganol”. Oreganol is a dietary supplement that is made from oregano that is claimed to be picked from the wild in the Mediterranean. (So, North American Herb and Spice really isn’t very North American after all. Why North American Herb and Spice couldn’t grow oregano here in the United States, and bring jobs back to the USA instead of shipping its oregano all the way across the Atlantic Ocean is beyond me.)
The health claims for Oreganol are all over the map. One Oreganol product claims to have antioxidant powers. Another claims to be made with water that is especially high in oxygen content.
Judy Kay Gray got in a conniption about Big Government when her company was sued by the Federal Trade Commission for making false claims about the health benefits of Oreganol. Judy Kay Gray and North American Herb and Spice promised customers that its Oreganol products would prevent and treat colds and flu, saying that this statement had been scientifically proven.
When asked for it, Judy Kay Gray could not muster the evidence to support her claims, and so instead of going to trial to defend herself, she agreed to settle. The settlement prohibits North American Herb and Spice from telling customers that Oreganol does anything to fight cold and flu unless scientific evidence is found that substantiates the claim.
Oreganol is still being by Judy Kay Gray and North American Herb and Spice, but without the claim of treating cold and flu. Instead, Oreganol now is claimed to do vague things such as supporting “natural mineral intake”. There aren’t any scientific studies that indicate that oregano picked on wild rocky mountains has the power to prevent colds or even to shorten them.
But, now Judy Kay Gray is on an anti-government kick. Supporting Ron Paul and other libertarians is one way to get government off the backs of companies selling snake oil and other health remedies that don’t have any proven scientific merit. As for me, I’d rather that the government stay on their backs. I don’t think that the freedom of companies to lie to their customers about the attributes of their products is a freedom worth fighting for.