WEIGHT-LOSS PRODUCTS: Enforma to Pay FTC $10M
In the "largest settlement" the Federal Trade Commission has entered involving misrepresentations of weight-loss products, Enforma Natural Products Inc. has agreed to pay the FTC $10 million, the Washington Post reports. The FTC had filed a complaint against Enforma, charging that the company had made "false and unsubstantiated claims" regarding two of its products, Fat Trapper and Exercise in a Bottle (Mayer, 4/27). The ads, seen on the Internet and television, asserted, "You can eat what you want and never, ever, ever have to diet again." Former major league baseball player Steve Garvey served as celebrity spokesperson, telling customers that Exercise in a Bottle worked by "forcing every cell in your body to work harder whether you're exercising or not" and that Fat Trapper "literally traps fat before it gets into your system." By settling, Enforma did not admit any wrongdoing. Enforma CEO Andrew Grey said, "We stand by our excellent products and are settling this case to avoid prolonged, costly legal battles" (Stout, New York Times, 4/27). Enforma did agree to include the statement that "reduced caloric intake is required to lose weight" in its packaging and ads. Joel Winston, assistant director for advertising practices at the FTC, said, "We're trying to send a message to makers of weight-loss products and dietary supplements that they've got to support the claims they're making" (Washington Post, 4/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.