Grimes & Reese Legal Review: FTC Charges HCG Marketer with Deceptive Advertising

The FTC has filed a complaint against the marketers of the HCG Platinum dietary supplements, charging them with deceptive advertising for claiming that using the product will result in substantial weight loss.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, names two corporate defendants, HCG Platinum, LLC and Right Way Nutrition, LLC, company president Kevin Wright, and seven relief defendants the FTC says received money from sales of the HGC products.

HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced by the human placenta that the FTC says has, for decades, been falsely promoted by various marketers for weight loss. It is FDA-approved as an injectable prescription drug for the treatment of some cases of female infertility and other medical conditions, but not for weight loss.

In 2011, Wright and six other HCG marketers received warning letters issued jointly by FDA and FTC staff, alerting them that were violating federal law by selling drugs that have not been approved by the FDA as well as by making unsupported claims for them.

According to the FTC complaint, the marketers made claims on the product packaging that the products cause consumers to lose a pound a day, are safe to use and are clinically proven to burn fat, reduce weight and lower cholesterol. Similar claims were made on Facebook and in Internet and magazine ads.

More than $13 million of HCG Platinum has been sold since 2010, according to the FTC, and the agency has asked the court to order the surrender of the gains.

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