In addition, the Cornucopia Institute is asking the FTC to investigate Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician (who maintains a popular Website advising parents) for allegedly making false statements to promote Dean's Horizon products. Cornucopia is also pursuing a separate professional ethics complaint against Dr. Greene.
In 2009, the European Food Safety Authority rejected a petition to allow a health claim related to DHA supplementation in milk for babies and toddlers and brain development, citing "insufficient" scientific data to support such a claim.
In its formal request to the FTC, the Cornucopia Institute lays out scientific data that shows that the addition of DHA to infant formula does not benefit babies' cognitive development.
Few clinical trials have been conducted to assess the benefits of Martek's oils for children's brain development, and those that have been conducted have largely shown no benefits exist, the institute claims.
"Given that the FTC has already warned companies that they need convincing scientific evidence to substantiate their claims that DHA supplementation benefits brain development, it is disturbing to see a company flout these warnings and launch a major advertising campaign — centered around the very same claims that the FTC warned them against," said Vallaeys.