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Consumer Law

Sensa and three other weight loss companies settle FTC claims of deceptive marketing

Posted Jan 9, 2014 6:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Four weight loss companies accused of deceptive marketing will return $34 million to consumers as a result of action by the Federal Trade Commission.

The largest refund, $26.5 million, will be paid by the marketers of Sensa, a powdered food additive said to enhance the smell and taste of food so that users would feel full faster and eat less. Reliable scientific evidence did not support the marketing claims, the FTC alleged in a complaint.

The FTC reports on the settlements in a press release; the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times also have stories. The companies did not admit or deny fault.

The other accused companies are:

• L’Occitane, which claimed two of its skin creams would produce a “noticeably slimmer, firmer you.” It will pay $450,000 in refunds.

• LeanSpa, which promoted acai berry and “colon cleanse” supplements through fake news websites. The settling defendants will surrender about $7 million in assets.

• HCG Diet Direct, which marketed a human hormone as a weight loss treatment. The company is unable to pay a judgment.

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