Green coffee bean promoter settles for millions

Promoters of a green coffee bean weight loss supplement settle FTC charges for false claims ater pushing a "severely flawed" study and not-so-independent experts on TV.

A rapid loss of 17 pounds due to green coffee bean extract? Fiction. A rapid loss of $9 million due to green coffee bean extract? Fact. A manufacturer of the extract agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for charges of making deceptive claims about the product, including an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, according to attorney Marc Ullman, of Ullman, Shapiro and Ullman, LLP’s, FYI newsletter. Lindsey Duncan and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today claimed that their supplement could cause consumers to drop 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in just 12 weeks without diet or exercise. He claimed the product was backed by a scientific study, which he discussed on TV with Oz. Duncan launched major advertising efforts to leverage the “Oz Effect,” and sales exploded. They sold tens of millions of dollars worth of the extract, according to the FTC. However, the study was “severely flawed” according to FTC charges settled in September 2014 against the company that sponsored the study. Additionally, the “independent” experts that made the rounds on TV promoting the supplement actually had financial ties to the company. “Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case shows that the Federal Trade Commission will continue to fight deceptive marketers’ attempts to prey on consumers trying to improve their health.” The FTC ordered Duncan to pay a $9 million redress judgment, with an initial payment of $5 million.

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