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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Releases Two New Consumer Publications
Herbal Supplement Warnings and Analog to Digital Broadcasting Information Available to Consumers

BALTIMORE, MD (March 26, 2008) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler released two issues of The Consumer’s Edge, a consumer education newsletter produced by the Office of the Attorney General. Issue 129 warns consumers of the potential hazards of herbal supplements and Issue 130 alerts Maryland consumers on the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting, scheduled to begin in 2009.

Despite the claims that are printed on most herbal supplement bottles, it is important to remember that the manufacturers are not regulated by the government. Although they are not allowed to claim that the supplements can treat, prevent or cure specific diseases, supplement companies can make bold claims such as “antioxidants maintain cell integrity.”

Herbal supplements can be dangerous, even deadly. The FDA has issued warnings to consumers or has recalled products after reports of serious illness and deaths. Supplements may also react negatively with prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or reduce their effectiveness.

Consumers should contact the Consumer Protection Division’s Health Education and Advocacy Unit at (410) 528-1840 or toll-free at 1-877-261-8807 if they have any questions or concerns.

Issue 130 of The Consumer’s Edge educates consumers on the transition from analog to digital television signal. Television sets currently receiving broadcast signals via an antenna, either on the roof or on top of the television, will be impacted by the change. Owners of this type of television set-up have the following options:

  • Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box. Converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70. Households will be able to request up to two $40 coupons that can be used to offset the cost of the converter box. The converter box will allow consumers to continue watching free, over the air television on an analog television set. To request a coupon, consumers should visit the Digital Television Website at www.ntia.doc.gov or by phone at 1-888-388-2009 or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY);
  • Subscribe to a cable, satellite or telecommunications service provider;
  • Purchase a new television set with built in digital tuner.

For more information on the switch from analog to digital broadcasting, visit the FCC website at www.dtv.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. Consumers can also visit the Consumer Protection Division’s website at www.oag.state.md.us or call 1-888-743-0023.

Links:

Consumer's Edge Issue 129 - Healthy Winter Living
Consumer's Edge Issue 130 - The United States of Advanced TV

 

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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