NexGen Nutritionals, Strictly Health, and Cyber Business Technology (along with business owners Robert and Anna McLean) recently settled false advertising claims regarding their dietary supplements. According to the FTC, the three Florida-based companies and owners marketed dietary supplements known as BioMazing HCG Full Potency Weight-Loss Drops, Hoodoba, Fucoidan Force, Immune Strong, and VascuVite through several of their own websites and relied on false advertising to sell their products.
Weight Loss, Curing the Cold, Curing Cancer, Treating High Blood Pressure, and More
NexGen Nutritionals, Strictly Health, and Cyber Business Technology made some pretty wild claims about their products and stated that they used “[i]ingredients [s]upported by [s]cientific [s]tudies.” Specific claims include:
- BioMazing HCG: included Human Chorionic Gonadotropic (HCG; which is generally used to treat fertility issues and the FDA has said consumers shouldn’t use it). The companies alleged that HCG caused the body to burn up to 4,000 calories per day which would amount to up to two pounds of weight loss each day.
- Hoodoba: used “real life success stories” from people who said they lost as much as 100 pounds in six months by using the product. Hoodoba, by the way, is another name for Hoodia. According to The Mayo Clinic, while it has been used as an appetite suppressant, there’s no scientific proof that it works.
- Fucoidan Force: used ads that stated the supplement could fight cancer, stop the spread of HIV / AIDS, relieve symptoms of HIV / AIDS, relieve symptoms of hepatitis, and lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. While wakame seaweed has some health benefits, it’s never been scientifically proven to fight cancer, stop the spread of HIV or AIDS, relieve symptoms of HIV / AIDS or hepatitis, or lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. This particular supplement also includes reishi mushroom. While lucidum has shown in scientific studies that is can support the immune system during cancer treatment, there isn’t enough information about it to say that it actively fights cancer.
- Immune Strong: promised in ads to “super charge your immune system” and “defeat the common cold, flu, viruses & deadly diseases.” The defendants stated in ads that they made their claims on “[r] ock-[s]olid [s]cience.” Oh, and in addition to curing the common ailments of us all, the defendants also alleged their compound would cure multiple sclerosis, HIV, and cancer. Defendants allege this product is comprised from the extract of 19 separate plants.
- VascuVite: is a compound of both plant extracts and minerals. The defendants advertised that the supplement would “[l]ower [y]our [b]lood [p]ressure [n]aturally, [n]ow” and used testimonials from “happy customers” who sang the praises of their “[i]ingredients [s]upported by [s]cientific [s]tudies.”
The court found that the claims made by NexGen Nutritionals, Strictly Health, and Cyber Business Technology were false and unsubstantiated.
Defendants Accused of Using False Certifications
The FTC accused NexGen Nutritionals, Strictly Health, and Cyber Business Technology (along with Robert and Anna McLean) of using false certifications on their products in an effort to sell more. Defendants are accused of using a “Certified Ethical Site” seal. When consumers clicked on the seal to “verify” the site, they were taken to a third-party website that alleged it was “the most reliable evaluator of trust in the online marketplace.” The site, Ethical Site, was owned by Robert and Anna McLean.
$1.3 Mill Judgment Against Defendants
The defendants were subjected to a $1.3 million judgment which will be almost fully suspended because the defendants allege they have an inability to pay. NexGen Nutritionals, Strictly Health, Cyber Business Technology, Robert McLean, and Anna McLean are also prohibited from using false advertising and misrepresenting certifications of their product by a “third-party.”