Nutraquest Settles NJ Xenadrine ChargesNutraquest Settles NJ Xenadrine Charges
July 12, 2005
NEWARK, N.J.--Nutraquest Inc., formerly known as Cytodyne Technologies, its owner Robert Chinery and three related companies reached a settlement July 11 with the state of New Jersey regarding marketing and advertising claims made for Xenadrine products. The suit, filed in mid-2003, alleged the companies made false and unsubstantiated weight loss claims for its Xenadrine products, misleading consumers. Under terms of the settlement, the parties will pay a total of $940,000 and agreed to not make false or misleading claims in advertisements in the future; there was no admission of unlawful conduct by any of the settling parties.
Nutraquest released a statement noting that the settlement does not bar any companies from marketing products for weight loss in the future. "Although the Attorney General's office and the Department of Consumer Affairs monitors and collects consumer complaints, no consumer complaints were ever filed for any of the products or product advertisements in the complaint," said Brian J. Molloy, attorney for Nutraquest. "On balance, settlement with the State of New Jersey for less than the litigation costs to defend is, unfortunately, a difficult but sometimes inevitable choice businessmen confront in today's regulatory environment."
This settlement is the second in the Cytodyne case. Previously, five New Jersey doctors who provided testimonials on Xenadrine's safety and efficacy settled with the state for between $15,500 and $17,500 each. In a statement from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey attorney general, noted the settlement ensures the defendants can no longer make unsubstantiated claims in their advertisements. "We're protecting the public's health and safety by preventing the defendants from claiming that a product is 'safe' or 'effective' unless there is scientific evidence to substantiate those statements," he said.
In addition to the financial settlement, the defendants agreed to several marketing stipulations for their future business activities, including not representing that a product alone can cause weight loss without the need for diet or exercise; not misrepresenting the scientific evidence on the biochemical mechanism, safety or efficacy; not misrepresenting clinical results; and not selling a weight loss product without stating that consumers should first consult with a health care professional and read the product label.
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