No Magic Bullets


By: W. Langbein

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) slapped administrative penalties in December 2003 against three companies that “falsely claimed their products [caused] substantial weight loss without dieting or exercise.”

The FTC issued a restraining order against the Canadian firm Beauty Vision, which promoted seaweed-based patches called “Hydro-Gel Slim Patch” and “Slenderstrip.” Advertising claimed the patches induce substantial weight loss without “starvation diets, small portions or missed meals.”

The agency also agreed to terms with Universal Nutrition Corporation and its owner, Robert J. Michnal, to pay $1 million in fines to settle allegations regarding false and unsubstantiated claims for ThermoSlim, a weight-loss product containing ephedra.

Mark Nutritionals, based in San Antonio, and its former CEO, Harry Siskind, likewise agreed to pay a total of $1 million to the FTC and the states of Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania for falsely marketing their Body Solutions Evening Weight-Loss Formula.

Siskind will pay half of the $1 million and also agreed to post a $1 million bond before selling a future weight-loss product.

“Despite claims to the contrary, there are no magic bullets or effortless ways to burn fat,” said FTC chairman Timothy Muris.

-Federal Trade Commission, December 9, 2003



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