Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > 2020 > 2 > FTC Sues Two Supplement Companies to Stop Unverified Marketing Claims

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Posted 12 February 2020 | By Zachary Brennan 

FTC Sues Two Supplement Companies to Stop Unverified Marketing Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said this week that it has sued two companies that made unsubstantiated claims while marketing their products containing the active ingredient cyplexinol.

One of the companies, Excellent Marketing Results, Inc. (EMR) and its president, agreed to settle with the FTC and will be prohibited from making health-related product claims unless they are supported by scientific evidence. The proposed order imposes a $3.6 million judgment against EMR, but it will be partially suspended upon payment of $145,000, which the FTC said it may use to provide refunds to consumers.

From 2015 to 2018, EMR made about $3.6 million in sales from a product known as StimTein, which contains cyplexinol, while claiming in online testimonials that the product grows “new bone, including in persons with osteoporosis or osteopenia,” grows new cartilage and provides “substantial and long-lasting relief from joint pain, including pain caused by arthritis, bursitis, and stenosis; and that these benefits are clinically proven,” according to the FTC complaint.

Meanwhile, the FTC is proceeding with litigation against another company, ZyCal Bioceuticals, after it also claimed that some of its products containing cyplexinol “grow bone and cartilage and thereby substantially reduce joint pain and discomfort, and that these benefits are clinically proven,” even though such claims are not supported by scientific evidence.

From 2014 to 2017, ZyCal generated more than $3.1 million in sales to health professionals and more than $1.5 million in sales to consumers. The company also sold about $1.9 million worth of the ingredient cyplexinol and cyplexinol products to trade customers.

The FTC said that both companies “possess no competent and reliable scientific evidence that any Cyplexinol product, taken as directed, provides any of the health benefits advertised by Defendants, nor are any of the advertised benefits clinically proven.”

Federal Trade Commission

 

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