The Federal Trade Commission on June 30 announced finalizing an administrative consent order that bans two Texas-based companies and their owner from advertising or selling dietary supplements.
Health Research Laboratories LLC, Whole Body Supplements LLC and their owner Kramer Duhon also are banned from making claims that their products treat, cure or reduce the risk of disease.
In a 2020 complaint, FTC alleged the respondents made unsupported claims that The Ultimate Heart Formula (UHF), BG18 and Black Garlic Botanicals prevent or treat cardiovascular and other diseases, and that Neupathic cures, mitigates or treats diabetic neuropathy.
FTC, which only received one public comment on its proposal, voted 5 to 0 to approve the final consent order. Joel Reese, an attorney who represented the respondents, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case is significant in that it represents the first time an entity or individual has been banned outright from selling dietary supplements. FTC answered in the negative when asked previously by Natural Products Insider whether the agency could point to other administrative or court cases in which a company or individual was banned from the dietary supplement industry.
However, attorneys who represent companies in FTC investigations have cited other forms of injunctive relief prohibiting entities from participating in certain industry activities, including multi-level marketing.
In 2019, for instance, AdvoCare International L.P. and its former CEO, Brian Connolly, agreed to pay $150 million and be banned from the MLM (multi-level marketing) industry to settle FTC charges that the company operated an illegal pyramid scheme.