Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Blogger Rules? My Standards Are Higher.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new and stricter regulations on bloggers, to take effect on December 1, 2009.

David Colker wrote the quick version of the rules in the Los Angeles Times.

A blogger who reviews a product -- but leaves out the fact that he or she got a payment, high-value gift or free vacation to write the review -- could run afoul of new federal regulations on advertising. ...

Bloggers are mentioned several times in the 81-page revisions. "The post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement," said the agency in a release. "Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service."

A blogger can, however, accept a free sample of a product for review purposes without disclosure, "provided that the product itself does not have such a high value that would make its receipt material (e.g., a car)," according to the revised rules.

There's nothing in the rules that specifies how the disclosure must be made. "That's left up to the endorser," said Richard Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's division of advertising practices. "It can be a banner, part of the review. The only requirement is that it be clear and conspicuous."

Here are my rules. Information sharing only. No endorsements. No favoritism. No trading space for products. Criticism or praise only as warranted. No holding back.

If a firm sends me information about a product I'll share it, but I'll always tell you where that information comes from. I tell you where all my information comes from. There is always a reference, a cite, or a link.

My opinions are my own, informed by thirty years of experience in the field. I don't normally review products, because the tastes of each person are too varied. I'll link to a review if it usefully compares several interesting products, but that's for general background information. You need to decide about tastes for yourself.

These new rules won't have a major impact on bloggers. The FTC can't monitor tens of millions of blogs. It will take action only on the worst offenders that are reported to them.

Nothing about the Planet Lactose blog will change because I'm already doing more than the rules call for. It's stay that way. I promise.

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1 comment:

Neil Kevin said...

Really a great post!! I like it very much!! Good going...