Can coffee really do that?


FTC / Federal Trade CommissionWere you aware that coffee could help you lose weight? Neither was the FTC, and its ordered marketers using radio, television and other media to make the claim to cut it out.

It’s not straight coffee – we’re talking about green coffee bean extract – but according to the FTC, the marketers lack scientific evidence for their claims.

A court has temporarily stopped the sale of certain products from Health Formulas LLC, makes of Simple Pure. It also touted other supplements in addition to the coffee product.

“The defendants behind Simple Pure used nearly every trick in the book to deceive consumers,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They not only deceived consumers about the effectiveness of their products, but also repeatedly debited consumers’ accounts without their approval.”

In addition to radio and TV, print, internet and telemarketing was used to promote the products.

FTC said, “Examples of Simple Pure’s advertising claims include: 1) ‘Burn fat without diet or exercise’; 2) ‘Shed pounds fast!’ and 3) ‘Extreme weight loss!’ The FTC alleges that the defendants have no basis for the weight-loss claims they make about their products.

In addition, the defendants allegedly trick consumers into disclosing their credit and debit card information, and then enroll them without authorization in a negative option program in which defendants continually charge consumers’ accounts. The charge for Simple Pure’s weight-loss supplements, with names like Pure Green Coffee Bean Plus and RKG Extreme, typically ranges from $60 to $210 per month. Some consumers were sold additional products that cost between $7.95 and $60.”

The agency continued, “The FTC charges that the defendants failed to provide the disclosures required for a negative-option program, failed to provide a way for consumers to stop the automatic charges, and also failed to disclose material facts about their refund and cancellation policy.”