FTC Settles Two Dietary Supplement Cases

October 11, 2004

1 Min Read
FTC Settles Two Dietary Supplement Cases

FTC Settles Two Dietary Supplement Cases

WASHINGTONThe Federal TradeCommission (FTC) announced two Maine-based dietary supplement marketingcompanies will pay nearly $1 million to settle FTC charges that they madedeceptive advertising claims for their products. In two separate actionsannounced in late August, FTC alleged Pinnacle Marketing LLC and VisionTelCommunications falsely advertised their dietary supplements could causesubstantial weight loss without diet or exercise, and made other false andunsubstantiated weight loss claims.

In the first case, Pinnacle Marketing was targeted formarketing a weight loss system called Ultra Carb, which included a carbblocker supplement with white kidney bean extract and chromium picolinate,and a fat blocker supplement with chitosan, with unsubstantiated claims. Amongthe disputed claims FTC singled out were that the products would enable users tolose as much as 20 pounds and two to three dress sizes in one month without dietor exercise. Under the proposed stimulated final order, the defendants areprohibited from making such diet representations, making any false orunsubstantiated claims or misrepresenting any scientific research.

In addition, the defendants must pay $219,000 in consumerredress, with an avalanche clause for $22.5 million due if the company andprincipals misrepresented their financial condition.

The second case, involving VisionTel, targeted four products,two for weight loss (Chito-Trim with chitosan and TurboTone with white kidneybean extract and chromium) and two for sexual function (a womans product withandrostenediol and a mens product with yohimbine and L-arginine). Thedefendants will be barred from claiming the weight loss products or similarproducts cause weight loss without diet or exercise, or cause weight loss byblocking the absorption of fat or calories, and to have credible scientificsubstantiation for any future efficacy and safety claims for the four products. Consumer redress was set at $750,000, with an avalanche clauseof $35 million.

Further details on the cases are available online(www.ftc.gov).

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