Debunking Denialism

Fighting pseudoscience and quackery with reason and evidence.

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FTC Shuts Down Fake Weight-Loss Scam and Imposes 1.3 Million USD Fine

FTC crack down on weight-loss scam

Society has somewhat of an obsession with quick weight-loss schemes. You cannot watch television, read a newspaper or browse the Internet without being exposed to some advertisement about how you can lose a ton of weight and fulfill all of your dreams if only you buy and eat this or that “miracle” weight-loss supplement. In reality, most of them probably do not work and some of them might be very harmful. You also do not really know what is in those pills, simply because they are often sold by unreliable quacks.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a U. S. consumer protection agency that was founded by Woodrow Wilson in the early 1900s. They work tirelessly to crack down on false marketing, frauds, identity theft, deceptive trade practices, coercive monopolies and many other things that ultimately harm consumers. Because the supplement industry in the United States has very little regulation in terms of safety and efficacy of their products, regulators have to go after scams and frauds via false and misleading marketing and other law violations. It is hardly an optimal situation, but they have managed to make some headway by holding homeopathic over-the-counter (OTC) products to the same standard as other OTC products.

Now, the FTC has settled a case against a weight-loss scam that used fake news websites and fake celebrity endorsements. The defendants must pay 500 000 USD and face the threat of paying a total of 1.3 million USD if they do not stop with their illegal and deceptive activities.

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