Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has launched a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into what she describes as deceptive weight-loss products, including a powder that claims to enhance the taste and smell of food.
“I may not have gone to a fancy Ivy League school, but I sure understand that that is good old-fashioned horse manure,” McCaskill, told CNN.
CNN reported that the company behind the ad, Sensa, reached an agreement with the FTC after being charged with deceptive advertising. Another advertiser targeted by the probe, LeanSpa, reached a partial settlement. Two more companies, HCG Diet Direct and L’Occitane, have also been charged by the commission.
McCaskill, who chairs the FTC’s consumer protection subcommittee, has also asked her constituents to report any dealings with companies peddling fraudulent weight-loss products, and reportedly plans to hold a Senate hearing on the issue “during the first half of 2014.”
“There are many companies that are doing this, and with every one that is found, another one will pop up,” McCaskill said to CNN.
Sensa’s settlement with the FCT calls for the company to issue $26.5 million in reimbursement payments for customers. L’Occitane will pay $450,000. LeanSpa will give up $7.3 million in “cash, real estate and personal property,” just over years after companies belonging to its founder, Boris Mizhen, were shuttered for allegedly promoting his products through fake news websites. Meanwhile, HGC Diet Direct’s $3.2 million fine has been suspended after the company provided documentation showing it could not pay.
Watch CNN’s report on McCaskill’s investigation, aired on Wednesday, below.
[Image via Claire McCaskill Facebook page]