Recent claims made by dietary supplement manufacturers carry little weight while an influx of false promises and negligent practices continue to tarnish the entire industry. Amongst those accused of allegedly promoting false claims are six online firms that recently misled consumers into buying acai berry supplements. Through the creation of false news websites, the accused companies peddled bogus weight loss claims about their products. However, decisive actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) levied charges against the firms that will permanently halt their allegedly deceptive practices.
The acai berry is small, reddish fruit that is derived from the acai palm tree indigenous to Central and South America. Research on this alleged super fruit has focused on its possible antioxidant applications. Theoretically, this mechanism of action may help prevent diseases caused by oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer. However, acai berries are highly touted by marketers who say it is one of the elite super foods with anti-aging and weight loss properties.
As research suggests that the acai berry is beneficial to a healthy diet, more clinical data is required to fully understand its potential. While acai has been touted as a revolutionary weight loss ingredient, few studies confirm these findings. In fact, many experts believe that acai does not help you lose weight.
The complaint levied by the FTC claimed that six firms intentionally mislead consumers by promising that their acai supplements would “enable rapid weight loss in a fiercely short time period, without any unwanted side effects.” In doing so, the FTC believes the defendants violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. Subsequently, these claims were not supported by any means or substantial evidence.
At the request of the FTC, these claims were placed on a temporary moratorium last year until more information on the products could be provided. Subsequently, millions of consumers had allegedly been misled by false news websites promoting unsupported claims about acai berry supplements. These sites witnessed fake reporters express their approval of acai products and their subsequent miraculous weight loss effects.
In a recent turn of events, the six accused firms have agreed to settle their current litigation with the FTC. According to the settlement, the manufacturers of the acai supplements are required to make clear when their commercial messages are advertisements rather than objective forms of journalism. Stipulations acknowledged in the settlement will also bar them from making any deceptive claims about health-related products in the future. Furthermore, the firms are required to pay a total of approximately $500,000 to the FTC for violating federal law.
Judgements against the defendants will be suspended once the FTC receives the appropriate assets from the defendants.
Do I Have a Dietary Supplement Lawsuit?
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If you or a loved one has been the victim of fraudulent dietary supplement marketing, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.