The Federal Trade Commission has charged the suppliers of supposed Hoodia gordonii, also known as hoodia, with deceptive advertising for claiming that using their product would lead to weight loss and appetite suppression.
In its complaint, the FTC alleges that the defendants not only made false and deceptive claims about what hoodia could do, but also, on one or more occasions, claimed that their product was Hoodia gordonii, a plant native to southern Africa, when it was not.
The FTC has requested that the court order the defendants not to make false or deceptive statements or destroy documents pending trial. The Commission seeks to permanently bar the defendants from deceptively advertising hoodia, and to obtain disgorgement of the defendants’ profits from their hoodia sales.
The defendants allegedly made false and deceptive claims when advertising their fake hoodia to trade customers who manufactured and marketed supplements.
NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. A complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law.
It is interesting to see how the FTC continues to pursue these companies that make a living by selling weight loss products with claims that are not backed up by facts. This Hoodia charge follows closely on the Hydroxycut warning, the settlement with QVC and the FDA releasing a list of weight loss supplements considered unsafe.
There is still much work to do though. Will the Acai scam and Colon Cleanse come next? I hope so.
We can also hope that these type of cases result in some legislation for deceptive marketing as a whole. That would prevent dangerous diets such as Kimkins to establish themselves on the internet