April 18th, 2011
FTC: Lawsuits Filed Against Sites Selling Acai Berry Weight-Loss Pills
The Federal Trade Commission said that lawsuits are being filed across the country against Web sites imitating news sites to sell acai berry weight-loss pills.
“The “reporters” on these sites supposedly have done independent evaluations of acai berry supplements, and claim that the products cause major weight loss in a short period of time with no diet or exercise. In reality the websites are deceptive advertisements placed by third-party or “affiliate” marketers,” said the FTC on April 15.
The state of Illinois is filing a separate case against a marketing affiliate of acai berry supplements.
A link on one Acai Berry Web site to the claim that Fox News had rated it “the #1 Superfood” was no longer live Friday with a notice that the account had been terminated, though the site still trumpeted “as seen on CNN, ABC, and more.”
The berries have gotten a lot of press for being cures of everything from obesity to impotence. However, stories on the real CNN and ABC included ones about Oprah and Dr. Oz suing acai berry marketers for implying they endorsed the products (ABC), and a (CNN) piece about public-interest groups claiming the acai berry diet claims were unsubstantiated.
The FTC has made a priority of fighting bogus diet/supplement claims because of their risks.