The FTC has recently agreed to settle with John Matthew Dwyer III, the co-founder and former CEO of HealthyLife Sciences, LLC. The settlement specified that he agreed to be banned from the weight-loss industry. This includes manufacturing and marketing any type of weight-loss products in the future.
The FTC filed a complaint against the company, which marketed their weight loos pill, “Healthe Trim Supplements,” because of the fact that it was making claims in advertisements that were unproven. Specifically, they were telling people that they could lose up to 165 pounds, and have weight ‘fall off’ rapidly without changing their diet or exercise routines.
The product was promoted using the tag line, “Get High School Skinny,” and was very popular, being sold online as well as in Walgreens, CVS and GNC. The product cost about $65 per month.
In addition to the deceptive claims in their advertisements, they had many testimonials from customers who would claim that they lost weight quickly and easily with their pill. The pill, which was reported to contain hoodia gordonii, ketone, green coffee bean, and garcinia cambogia, was unproven with any double blind tests that could have backed up the claims. This did not prevent the advertisements from claiming that the product was clinically tested.
Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said, “Losing weight is rarely easy, and it would be a miracle if a pill made it so. Consumers should be skeptical when a product like this one claims to make weight loss easy.”
In addition to Dwyer’s ban from the weight loss industry, his former company had several restrictions put on how they could market their products. First of all, they will be required to have two “randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trials” done on any product related to weight loss. This will, of course, debunk the vast majority of the over the top claims that weight loss products often make.
In addition, they are prohibited from using deceptive marketing that takes any trials they do perform out of context or makes up information to boost their credibility.
The settlement from the FTC is still subject to public comment for 30 days, as is standard with these things. You can review and comment on the case HERE if you are interested. Public comment will go through October 14, 2014.