Diet Pill Manufacturer Fined $500,000 by FTC for Deceptive Claims
In a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a Canadian-based company selling a supposed weight loss supplement will pay $500,000 and is banned from further marketing or manufacturing the product.
The Freedom Center Against Obesity marketed its Double Shot pills in the U.S. from 2012 through October 2013 and claimed that the supplement would help users drop 15 to 20 pounds in a week without diet or exercise.
Users were provided with two supplements—a blue pill that would supposedly burn fat and a red pill that would block calories.
In the company's direct mail advertising, Dr. Joseph Breechman claimed that users would only absorb a fraction of the calories they consumed. Breechman was identified as Freedom Center Against Obesity's director of weight loss research.
The company also claimed that Double Shot's effectiveness was proven in clinical studies. The FTC, however, found these claims to be false and unsupportive.
As a result of the complaint, the Freedom Center Against Obesity is banned from manufacturing or marketing weight loss products or assisting others in doing so. The company is also banned from making any claims about the health benefits or effectiveness of any product unless it provides scientific evidence to back them up. Product studies are not to be misrepresented to show sound evidence when there is not.