Posts Tagged ‘Federal Trade Commission’

FTC Busts Weight Loss Scams

January 8th, 2014

Just in time for those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has lowered the boom on four weight loss companies for deceptive advertising and returning over $26 million to consumers.

“Operation Failed Resolution” is the latest in a long line of FTC enforcement efforts against the weight loss industry. The latest action targeted Sensa for a dietary supplement which, they claimed, when sprinkled on food would cause weight loss; L’Occitane which claimed that a skin cream would slim down users; HCG Diet Direct which marketed an unproved human hormone as a weight loss treatment; and LeanSpa LLC, which deceptively promoted acai berry and ‘colon cleanse’ for weight loss.

In addition to its enforcement work the FTC has a number of resources, including “Weighing the Claims in Diet Ads,” and “FTC to advertisers: 7 New Year’s resolutions.”

Likewise, the Better Business Bureau has “Gut Check: A Reference Guide for Media Spotting False Weight Loss Claims.”

 

Child Food Marketing Guidelines Set Back…Again

December 16th, 2011

Food and beverage industry has won another victory in Congress (did you forget pizza?) , forcing through a provision which would require the three federal agencies involved in writing the new guidelines for marketing to children to undertake a cost benefit analysis. Lawmakers want cost-benefit analysis on child food marketing restrictions – The Washington Post Earlier in the year, the industry had forced the Administration to drastically curtail the age group covered by the proposed guidelines Food giants fight proposed nutrition guidelines – SFGate

Consumer Alert – HCG hormone

December 6th, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warning letters on HCG “homeopathic” products sold over-the-counter for weight loss.  HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by the human placenta and found in the urine of pregnant women. It is approved as an injectable prescription drug for female infertility, among other conditions.

The letter warns companies that they are violating federal law by selling drugs that have not been approved and by making unsupported claims. There is no evidence, according to the agencies, that HCG improves weight loss beyond the recommended low calorie diet. For the press release, see Press Announcements > FDA, FTC act to remove “homeopathic” HCG weight loss products from the market

Federal Trade Commission Attacks Diet Frauds

July 7th, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a legal assault against an Internet-based network of affiliates selling acai berries and hCG products. The process starts with a seemingly innocent ad offering “1 Tip for a tiny belly.” You have probably seen it. Consumers are led into a maze of websites, many seeming   to be media “investigations” about their products. They are offered trial products and give up their credit card numbers but continue to be charged for products they did not order or thought they were getting on a trial basis. Consumers may have been bilked out of as much as a billion dollars. Ubiquitous ‘tiny belly’ online ad part of scheme, government says – The Washington Post and Won’t be faux-ed again | BCP Business Center

FTC Proposes Voluntary Food Marketing Guidelines

May 6th, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission released its long-awaited voluntary guidelines for industry regarding how they market foods to children. Interagency Working Group Seeks Input on Proposed Voluntary Principles for Marketing Food to Children  The agency is proposing that there be more good foods and fewer bad foods marketed to children. (ED: No doubt this will be very controversial.)

 A forum for stakeholders will take place on May 24, 2011.  Public comment is being sought. They must be submitted by June 13, 2011. But early reaction was largely negative Junk Food ‘Guidelines’ Won’t Help – NYTimes.com