Refuting the Claims
"It is resolution time again, isn't it?"
said FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras.
"We're implementing our resolution to fight
back against companies that use deceptive
advertising claims." Some of the products
marketed their claims through infomercials
or celebrity endorsements. The late Anna
Nicole Smith, for example, endorsed TrimSpa.
"Testimonials from individuals are not a
substitute for science," Majoras said. "And
that's what Americans need to understand."
The FTC investigated a variety of claims,
including rapid weight loss and reduction in
the risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and
even cancer, Majoras noted. A fine of at
least $8 million was levied against the
marketer of Xenadrine EFX, made by New
Jersey-based Nutraquest, Inc., formerly
known as Cytodyne Technologies. The marketer
was identified as RTC Research &
Development, LLC, based in Manasquan, N.J.
Majoras said Xenadrine EFX had a study
showing that people who took a placebo lost
more weight than those taking the pill.
The FTC's investigation also found that
consumer endorsers lost weight by engaging
in rigorous diet and exercise programs. A
$12 million fine was assessed against Window
Rock Health Laboratories, based in Brea,
Calif, the marketers of CortiSlim. Majoras
said CortiSlim falsely promised that all
users would see permanent and fast weight
loss and that its TV infomercials were
"deceptively formatted" to appear as talk
shows rather than ads.
The Bayer Corp., based in Morristown,
N.J. will pay a $3.2 million civil penalty
to settle the claims. The FTC said Bayer
marketed One-A-Day WeighSmart with
unsubstantiated claims including that it
increases metabolism. Bayer violated an
earlier FTC order requiring all health
claims for its One-A-Day brand vitamins be
supported by competent and reliable
The marketers of TrimSpa, Goen
Technologies Corp., will pay $1.5 million.
Both Goen and TrimSpa are based in Whippany,
N.J. The FTC said Goen had inadequate
scientific evidence to support claims that
TrimSpa causes rapid and substantial weight