FTC, State of Maine File Contempt Action against Dietary Supplement Marketers
The Federal Trade Commission and the State of Maine are seeking a civil contempt order against two companies that market dietary supplements, alleging they have continued to promote their products using unproven claims that they can treat and cure diseases, in violation of a 2018 FTC settlement order.
The agencies’ contempt motion states that Health Research Laboratories, LLC (HRL), Whole Body Supplements, LLC, and their owner Kramer Duhon, violated the order by claiming—without the required scientific evidence—that their Ultimate Heart Formula (UHF), BG18, and Black Garlic Botanicals supplements could treat, cure, or mitigate cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and hypertension.
The defendants also mailed advertisements claiming that another supplement, Neupathic, cures, treats, or mitigates diabetic neuropathy and diabetes, also without the required supporting scientific evidence, the FTC alleged. Their mailers touted these supplements as a “miraculous natural solution” for life-threatening diseases.
“Health Research Laboratories and Mr. Duhon have a troubling history of making unproven claims that their products can treat serious diseases,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We’re delighted to work again with the Maine Attorney General to hold these defendants accountable and enforce our 2018 order.”
The 2018 FTC settlement stemmed from false and unsupported claims about two other supplements, called BioTherapex and NeuroPlus, and required that defendants have at least one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to support any claim that their products effectively cure, mitigate, or treat diseases.
The FTC filed the civil contempt motion jointly with the Maine Attorney General’s Office. It was filed on December 17, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. In filing the motion, the agencies are seeking an order permanently barring the defendants from the alleged contemptuous conduct, as well as appropriate monetary relief.
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