FTC, Enforma Embroiled in Continuing Labeling Battle
WASHINGTON--The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan. 10 that it asked the courts to order Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Enforma Natural Products Inc., its president and chief executive officer, Andrew Grey, and its executive vice president of sales and marketing, Michael Ehrman, to show cause as to why they should not be held in civil contempt. FTC charges that, despite agreeing not to, the company continued to advertise two purported weight-loss supplements--Fat Trapper Plus and Exercise in a Bottle--using unsubstantiated and misleading representations.
According to FTC's newest charges, the company is not providing any "competent and reliable evidence that either product performs as represented, and are therefore violating the court's order."
A federal district court was scheduled to review this case at a hearing on Feb. 4. Ultimately, FTC is seeking to excise the company's product names, Fat Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus and Exercise in a Bottle. If the excision is granted, FTC is also requesting that all company products bearing deceptive and misleading trade names be immediately recalled. Furthermore, FTC is asking for an accounting and disgorgement of all profits from sale of Fat Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus and Exercise in a Bottle since May 11, 2000.
According to Grey, FTC's accusations are baseless and even deceptive. "The most appalling thing is that we settled [in May 2000] with no admission of liability," he reported. "We thought we were settling, but we really haven't." Edward Glenn, Enforma's attorney, added that the company plans to file against FTC once it contacts the FTC scientific expert who evaluated the studies behind the two herbs.
FTC's complaint can be found on www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/01/enforma.htm.