The Federal Trade Commission will be sending out checks Friday to more than 140,000 consumers who bought "For Women Only" dietary supplements -- including what were touted as weight-loss pills -- from the TV channel QVC Inc.
The cash is part of a 2009 settlement that saw the Pennsylvania home shopping channel pay $7.5 million in refunds and fines for claiming the supplements would cause dieters to lose a lot of weight and allow them to eat fatty or high-carb foods without adding body fat. Other products covered in the settlement were Lite Bites food bars and shakes, Bee-Alive Royal Jelly energy supplements, and Lipofactor Cellulite Target Lotion.Bogus or misleading health care claims -- including those for weight-loss supplements -- are among the top complaints the FTC received nationwide in 2009.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that if a product promises weight loss without effort, that's a sure sign it's bogus.
Before buying a product that sounds too good or promises a lot, check out the product by talking to a doctor or other health care professional. See if there have been complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau or the FDA over the product.
The products included ingredients common in dietary supplements, including some that are controversial for that use. One ingredient was chitosan -- made from the shells of shrimp, lobster and crab -- and some question its effectiveness. Other ingredients included chromium and vanadium and the herb garcinia cambogia.
The FTC checks will be based on how much the consumers bought of the products and will average about $40. Anyone with questions about the refunds should call (888) 257-9567, which has been set up for the refunds.
More information about the case can be found on the FTC site.
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