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Posted September 9, 2014

Maker of Popular Green Coffee Bean Extract Settles FTC Charges of Unsupported Weight Loss Claims

Applied Food Sciences, Inc., maker of green coffee bean extract GCA, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle FTC charges that weight loss claims made about the extract were not supported by scientific evidence.

The company claimed that GCA could cause consumers to lose 17.7 pounds, 10.5 percent of body weight, and 16 percent of body fat in 22 weeks, without diet or exercise. However, the FTC charged that the study these claims were based on was severely flawed. According to the FTC, the lead investigator in the study changed subjects' weights and other measurements, misrepresented which subjects were taking GCA or the placebo, and changed the length of the study. When the lead investigator could not get the study published, Applied Food Sciences hired other researchers to re-write the study, and the new researchers did not verify the authenticity of the information they received, despite the conflicting data. [Update: 10/21/14 This study has now been retracted. Get the details in the Green Coffee Bean Extract Supplements Review.]

In addition to the $3.5 million payment, the settlement requires Applied Food Sciences to support any future weight loss claims with proper scientific substantiation, including at least two adequate and well-controlled human clinical tests. It also bars the company from providing other companies who use GCA in their own products with the means of falsely advertising or falsely promoting the ingredient.

In May 2014, a company selling a green bean coffee extract product promoted with the same weight loss claims, based on the Applied Food Science study, was charged by the FTC for making unsubstantiated weight loss claims and deceiving consumers with fake "news" websites.

See ConsumerLab.com's Review of Green Coffee Bean Extract Supplements for tests of related products.

See Related Warnings:

FTC Charges Seller of Green Coffee Bean with False Weight Loss Claims, Fake Websites

Four Companies Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Weight Loss Claims

FTC Stops Fake News Sites About Acai Berry Products

Marketers of "Genetically Customized" Supplements Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Health Claims

To read the FTC's press release, use the link below.