FTC Takes Action to Stop Anti-Aging “Cure-All” Marketers From Making Baseless Health Claims
The sellers of a pill called ReJuvenation settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceptively claimed that their product is a virtual cure-all for age-related ailments—including cell damage, heart attack damage, brain damage, blindness, and deafness—and even aging itself.
The orders settling the FTC’s complaint prohibit the defendants from making such claims unless they are true and supported by scientific evidence. The orders also require payment of $660,000, which the Commission may use to provide refunds to defrauded consumers.
“This is another company promising older adults an anti-aging wonder drug that reverses the effects of disease,” said Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith. “If you make those kinds of claims, you’d better have credible science to back it up or the FTC is coming for you.”
According to the FTC’s complaint, between March 2014 and February 2016, Maria Gutierrez Veloso advertised and sold ReJuvenation nationwide using direct mail, postcards, emails, and multiple websites. Arizona-based Quantum Wellness and its CEO Fred Auzenne took over the operation in early 2016 and similarly marketed the product.
ReJuvenation is made of amino acids and herbal extracts. According to the defendants’ ads, ReJuvenation can reverse the aging process and repair age-related damage to the body by increasing human growth hormone (HGH) and the number of stem cells in the body. The ads also claimed users would see the reduced appearance of wrinkles and significant improvements in their memory and cognitive functioning.
In addition, the defendants claimed that ReJuvenation can repair the damage from or reverse a number of ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Crohn’s disease. According to the complaint, these claims were misleading or lacked substantiation.
The orders also prohibit the defendants from misrepresenting that any covered product is “clinically or scientifically” proven to treat or cure a range of ailments related to the aging process. The order against Quantum Wellness and Auzenne imposes a judgment of $993,416 against Auzenne, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $60,000. The order against Veloso imposes a $2.4 million judgment, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $600,000.
The Commission vote approving the complaint and proposed consent orders was 5-0. The complaint and proposed orders were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final injunctions/orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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