The Federal Trade Commission is continuing its crackdown on products that claim to treat diseases, filing suit today against an online marketer that says its dietary supplements treat and prevent diabetes.
The FTC has asked a federal judge to permanently bar the company, Wellness Support Network Inc., and its two principals, from making these and other claims, and to require the defendants to provide refunds to consumers or give up their ill-gotten gains.
According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the company has made false or unsubstantiated claims about its products in violation of Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. For example, the FTC cites promotional materials that claim the supplements will “Reverse Insulin Resistance, safely and effectively with absolutely NO SIDE EFFECTS !! GUARANTEED !!”
FTC General counsel Willard Tom and attorneys Laura Fremont and Kenneth Abbe signed the complaint.
Wellness Support President Robert Held did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The company was warned in 2006 by the Food and Drug Administration that its diabetes supplement marketing violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by claiming to treat or prevent a disease without being approved as a drug.
In a similar action, the FTC last month filed a complaint against POM Wonderful LLC, alleging that the juice maker violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims.
POM in turn sued the FTC on Sept. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming the agency has created a new standard for the evaluation of deceptive advertising that tramples the company's free speech rights.