Let’s say you bought a diet book that was advertised to provide an easy-to-follow diet that you can do at home and that allows you to eat whatever you want—and then, once you buy the book, you find out that it “describes a complex, grueling plan that requires severe dieting, daily injections of a prescription drug that consumers cannot easily get, and lifelong dietary restrictions.” The FTC apparently thinks that’s misleading, and they’re going after Kevin Trudeau (yet again) for it.
The FTC has sued Trudeau in 1998 and 2003 for making false claims about his products. In 2004, Trudeau settled with the FTC over similar charges that he misrepresented a calcium-based “cancer curing” product along with other quack cures and treatments. As part of the settlement, he “was banned from using infomercials to sell any product, service, or program,” according to Consumer Affairs. There was an exception for books, though, provided he didn’t misrepresent the contents of them.
Compare his own comments about the book (quoted from the Consumer Affairs article):
“I can attest, it was the easiest, simplest, most effective thing I’ve ever done.”
“I can eat whatever I want now, anything and as much as I want any time I want. No restrictions now. And the weight’s not coming back. You don’t gain the weight back.”
With the actual program details:
It requires intramuscular injections of a prescription drug that’s not approved by the FDA for weight loss—a drug you’d have to go overseas to get or find a US doctor willing to prescribe;
You have to follow a 500 calorie/day diet for 21 to 45 days;
You can’t use any medicines, including OTC and prescription drugs, as well as other skin products during this initial phase;
In another phase, you can eat only organic food, with no sweeteners, starches, nitrites or trans fats;
You’re supposed to get massages, take homeopathic human growth hormone, limit your exposure to air conditioning and flourescent lighting, get over a dozen colonics, walk outside for one hour eaach day, eat six times a day, eat only organic meat and dairy, eat 100 grams of organic meat right before going to bed.
Hilariously, it goes on—you can read it all at Consumer Affairs.
“Feds Sue Informercial Maestro Trudeau Again” [Consumer Affairs]