Liverite Settles with FTC Over Unsubstantiated Health Claims 27342

September 17, 2001

2 Min Read
Liverite Settles with FTC Over Unsubstantiated Health Claims

Liverite Settles with FTC Over Unsubstantiated Health Claims

WASHINGTON--The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a release Aug. 21 that Tustin, Calif.-based Liverite Products Inc. has agreed to settle with the agency regarding unsubstantiated claims. FTC alleged Liverite made the claims about its products treating such conditions as cirrhosis and hepatitis. The products contain liver hydrolysate (which contains 16 amino acids), as well as multiple vitamins and minerals. They are sold in such retail stores as GNC and CVS, by telephone and over the Internet.

According to FTC, the company and its principals, Corinne and Steven Jacobson, will be required to pay $60,000 in redress, must have scientific substantiation in order to back its claims and can no longer use the term "the ultimate liver aid" on its products or promotional materials. The company had claimed that its products could, among other things, prevent and treat hangovers, prevent and treat alcohol-induced liver disease and prevent and alleviate the toxic side effects of various drugs.

In addition, James and Sheri Grant, who run the Liverite Web sites(,, were named in the suit. The sites "deceived" consumers, FTC reported, by using terms in meta-tags that were linked to the company's unsubstantiated claims. For example, if a person were to type "hangover," "liver problems," or "AIDS" into a search engine, that person would be led to the Liverite sites. The Grants were not ordered to pay redress, but they do need to revamp the Web sites to be in compliance with FTC's requirements.

In a member e-mail, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) warned that "This practice could be viewed by the FTC as an unfair or deceptive act or practice, even if the terms are invisibly embedded into the source code of a Web page," the e-mail stated.

In regard to FTC's requirement that science needs to back its claims, Liverite is currently conducting double-blind clinical studies. In the meantime, Corinne Jacobson stated that it would be a few months until products with new packaging (using the term "The Liver Aid" rather than "The Ultimate Liver Aid) and readjusted claims would hit store shelves.

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