That the FTC has announced another weight loss settlement is no news at all. The FTC averages about six new weight loss orders per year. The new settlement, nevertheless, is notable as a reminder of the following points.
The FTC has the power to impose bans. The Order against the marketers of Double Shot diet pills “permanently restrain[s] and enjoin[s]” them from advertising or selling “any weight-loss product.” The FTC does not frequently impose bans in weight loss cases, but bans have been used before in similar instances where extreme Gut Check claims (discussed below) have been made.
Any FTC orders requiring “competent and reliable scientific evidence” will likely now include record-keeping provisions for clinical studies. For any future health-related claims – other than weight loss claims – the Order requires the Double Shot marketers to possess “competent and reliable scientific evidence.” The Order further requires the parties to obtain or maintain data and other records from any clinical study relied upon for claims. A narrow exception is made only for certain “reliably reported” studies that were conducted independently of the parties. This is the third FTC order to include such record-keeping provisions. We discussed the first two orders here and here.
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