Busted: ‘Dr. Oz’ guest must repay $9 million to customers in ‘magic beans’ diet scam
A daytime talk show guest has agreed to pay $9 million to customers he duped on The Dr. Oz Show and The View.
The Federal Trade Commission accused Lindsey Duncan of selling phony weight-loss aids, including green coffee bean extract, that he claimed could cause consumers to lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in 12 weeks – without diet or exercise.
Duncan told Dr. Oz Show viewers that his claims were backed by a clinical study, but the company that sponsored the study settled FTC charges in September that found it to be severely flawed.
He began selling the extract at Walmart and on Amazon after agreeing to appear on Dr. Oz but before the episode aired and built a marketing campaign built around the appearance.
Duncan continued to promote his products using his Dr. Oz appearance online and in retail stores, the FTC said, and they paid spokespeople to tout the extract without disclosing their financial ties.
He eventually sold tens of millions of dollars’ worth of the extract, federal authorities said.
Duncan and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc., are barred under the settlement from making deceptive claims about the health benefits of any dietary or drug products.
A recent study found that half the medical claims made on The Dr. Oz Show had no scientific basis or were directly contradicted by available evidence.
The researchers also found that the host, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, failed to address potential conflicts of interest on his program.
The Texas attorney general charged Duncan last year with duping consumers by falsely claiming to be a physician.
Duncan claims to be a naturopathic physician, which is not recognized under state law.
Watch Duncan discuss the product on The Dr. Oz Show: