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As seen on TV' doesn't mean it works!

The green coffee bean scam

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February 23rd, 2015

If you watch television programs like The Dr. Oz Show or The View, you have undoubtedly heard about the miraculous power of green coffee bean extract. Guests on these shows touted the extract as a weight loss wonder drug—saying that people who took green coffee bean supplements could lose 17 pounds and 16% of their body fat in just 12 weeks—without following a special diet or exercise program. 

Like most things that sound too good to be true, the green coffee bean weight loss miracle is nothing but a scam. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged that Lindsey Duncan and his companies Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc. cited a “severely flawed” study to back up their sensational claims about green coffee bean extract.  

According to the FTC’s complaint, shortly after Duncan agreed to appear on Dr. Oz but before the show aired, he began selling the extract. He also tailored his marketing campaign around his upcoming appearance on the tremendously popular show.  

Marketing blitz

For example, while discussing green coffee bean extract with Dr. Oz, Duncan encouraged viewers to search for the product online. He gave them phrases to search for that he knew would drive them to websites that sold his extract. 

At the same time, he contacted retailers like Amazon.com and Walmart, describing his upcoming appearance on The Dr. Oz Show and saying he planned to discuss clinical trials that supposedly proved the supplement’s effectiveness. 

Once he appeared on Dr. Oz, Duncan’s websites posted links to the episode with messages such as “New Health Discovery!” or “As Seen on TV!” Duncan and his companies sold tens of millions of dollars’ worth of the extract, according to the FTC.

“Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss,” says 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.”

Under the FTC settlement, Duncan and his associates are barred from making deceptive claims about the health benefits or efficacy of any dietary supplement or drug product. They will pay $9 million for consumer redress.

While every day brings a new headline about weight loss and dietary supplements, there are no proven shortcuts. Before you start taking any kind of supplement touted on a television show or in a magazine, speak to your own physician. While these tonics may be ineffective when it comes to weight loss, they can have serious consequences when mixed with prescription drugs. 

Just because it’s sold over the counter or online doesn’t mean it’s safe.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraudulent, deceptive, or unfair business practices and wish to file a complaint with the FTC, visit FTCcomplaintas
sistant.gov
or call 1-877-382-4357.

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