FTC concerned about social media posts for sweeteners

Federal officials are concerned the claims make misleading statements and don't disclose they're paid advertisements
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:34 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Federal officials are worried claims made online about the artificial sweetener aspartame aren’t transparent to viewers on social media.

We’ve just learned the Federal Trade Commission is going after two trade associations, 12 registered dietitians, and other social media influencers.

It sent them warning letters, saying they’re not disclosing enough information on their social media posts promoting the safety of aspartame or products containing sugar.

The warning letters explain what appear to be paid posts do not disclose that they are ads or are sponsored.

Action 2 News obtained letters sent to social media influencers Jenn Messina and Lindsay Pleskot. The FTC quotes their video posts. In one example, the FTC quotes Pleskot in one video, “Despite what you’ve been led to believe, sugar is not toxic and it doesn’t need to be avoided at all costs.”

The other issue is that the FTC says registered dietitians are saying the same thing.

The FTC says it’s irresponsible for any trade group to hire influencers to tout its products without coming clean about that relationship.

It also says it’s especially concerning when the claims are made by registered dietitians, who people rely on for advice about what to eat and drink.