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Posted January 18, 2005
Sellers of “Fat Trapper Plus” and “Exercise in a Bottle” Banned from Advertising Weight-Loss Products
The settlement resolves two FTC contempt charges against the two California-based corporations and the three named individuals for allegedly violating the terms of a May 2000 final order by making unsubstantiated and false claims regarding the purported weight-loss products Fat Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus, Exercise In A Bottle, Acceleron, and Chitozyme. The settlement also prohibits the continued use of the trademarks for “Fat Trapper,” “Fat Trapper Plus,” and “Exercise In A Bottle.”
In January 2002, the FTC filed an order to show cause alleging that Enforma, Grey, and Ehrman violated a 2000 order by making unsubstantiated weight-loss claims for the products Fat Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus, and Exercise In A Bottle, and by misrepresenting scientific studies. In July 2002, the FTC filed a second order to show cause alleging that Enforma, Grey, 24/7, and DiFerdinando violated the 2000 order by making similar claims for the weight-loss products Acceleron and Chitozyme.
The settlement announced today bans the above-named individuals and entities from marketing weight-loss products, except exercise programs or equipment. The settlement with Enforma, Grey, 24/7, and Ehrman prohibits them from using or transferring the trade names of Fat Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus, and Exercise In A Bottle, as well as other deceptively named products. The settlement requires Enforma, Grey, 24/7, and Ehrman to pay a total of $300,000 in consumer redress; in addition, the order contains an avalanche clause, under which $4,000,000 would become due immediately if the court finds they misrepresented their financial condition.
In addition, the settlement prohibits the above-named entities and individuals from making any claims about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any dietary supplement, food, drug, or device unless they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims. They also are prohibited from misrepresenting the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test or study for any product, service, or program. In addition, the settlement prohibits them from using advertisements that misrepresent that they are not paid advertising, and requires infomercials of specified lengths to contain disclosures stating they are paid advertisements. Also, the settlement prohibits the sale or rental of any customer list obtained from the sale of any weight-loss product.