Crackdown on Harmful Satellite TV Ads

Crackdown on Harmful Satellite TV Ads
Crackdown on Harmful Satellite TV Ads

Iran’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that advertisement on foreign satellite TV of cosmetic and health products made in Iran is illegal.  

Consumption of foreign cosmetic and health products advertised on satellite channels have repeatedly led to health problems or occasionally the death of the user, recent data shows, said Rasoul Dinarvand, head of the FDA.

The public health watchdog is making efforts to crack down on the promotion of these products which are advertised via digital satellites through digital satellite communication links. The FDA has obtained a warrant to prosecute several operators who tap into the telecom lines.

In consultation with the Health Ministry, the Majlis Health and Treatment Commission has proposed a plan by which the FDA will be authorized to start legal proceedings against digital telecom operators, as well as smugglers and the distribution networks of the products.

The proposal has been submitted to the parliament and is awaiting approval.

Dinarvand said it was confirmed that most of the operators use government telecom lines of 3000 and 1000 volt ampere and the authorities are trying to bar their activities.

Unfortunately, even smuggled products “are officially advertised by 3000va lines whose operators cannot be easily tracked as they in turn have rented out the lines to people who have sublet them to others who in turn have done the same.”

It should be noted that most TV channels depend on advertising revenue for survival.

   False Claims

The Health Ministry does not issue any license for these products and all claims by the advertisers are false. According to Iranian law, no manufacturer or importer is allowed to promote their product on foreign satellite TV. Nor are foreign products permitted to be advertised on domestic channels as it is unauthorized.

Many of the products are fake, the FDA official warned, and pointed out that they are not even licensed in the countries where they are manufactured. “Definitely, the products are contraband.”

Products that are advertised on satellite channels include medicine, supplements and cosmetics, none of which have any legal licensing in Iran. Slimming drugs are very commonly advertised and have caused the death of three users in Iran last year. Satellite TV is banned in Iran but most households have dish antennas.