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Posted February 29, 2008

FTC Sues Sellers of Weight-Loss Pills for False Advertising

On February 8, 2008 the The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged a business operation with violating federal law by falsely claiming that its weight-loss pills cause users to lose weight without dieting or exercise.

According to the FTC’s complaint, since 2005 the defendants have marketed their product throughout the nation under the names Zyladex Plus, Questral AC, Questral AC Fat Killer Plus, Rapid Loss 245, and Rapid Loss Rx. Their advertising, which has included statements such as “Lose up to 15 pounds a week,” “Not Even Total Starvation Can Slim You Down and Firm You Up This Fast - This Safe!,” and “No Dieting, No Exercise,” has appeared in Sunday newspaper supplements, including SmartSource by News America Marketing FSI, Inc.

The defendants, Medlab, Inc., Pinnacle Holdings, Inc., Metabolic Research Associates, Inc., U.S.A. Health, Inc., and their principal, L. Scott Holmes, located in California, are charged with violating Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act by making false and unsubstantiated claims that their product causes users to lose substantial amounts of weight rapidly, including as much as 15 to 18 pounds per week and as much as 50 percent of all excess weight in just 14 days, without dieting or exercise; that clinical studies prove those claims; and that their product causes permanent or long-term weight loss.

The FTC ultimately seeks to permanently bar the defendants from further violations and to obtain redress for affected consumers.