American company experiences a ‘weighty loss’ following false advertising settlement
American weight-loss company Sensa has been ordered to pay $905,000 for false advertising of its “Tastants” flavoured weight-loss crystals.
The crystals were promoted as part of a “sprinkle diet” that were falsely advertised as “proven in the largest clinical study every conducted.” However, the “study” did not meet American Federal Trade Commission guidelines for nutritional supplements and was reported as being “not competent” and “unreliable.”
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Yen B Dang, of the office’s consumer protection unit, said that the false study claims “preyed upon” Americans suffering from weight-related health issues.
According to the Sensa study, non-caloric Tastant crystals sprinkled on food prior to consumption “effectively demonstrated enhanced gustatory evoked satiety, reduced consumption and a reduction in weight.”
Sensa was ordered to pay civil penalties of $800,000 to be used in enforcing consumer protection laws, and $105,000 in restitution to its Californian customers.
In addition to the $905,000 Sensa Products has been ordered to pay, it is forbidden from making claims regarding the efficiency of its products without competent scientific evidence.
Sensa is still able to sell the “Tastants” and promote the “sprinkle diet,” but is unable to advertise that weight-loss evidence is based upon “the largest clinical study.”