Announced Actions for February 28, 1997

For Your Information

Commission action regarding petitions to reopen and modify FTC orders: Following a comment period, the FTC has ruled on a petition from the following:

  • The FTC has granted the petition of Schwegmann Giant Super Markets, Inc., of New Orleans, Louisiana, to reopen and modify a 1995 consent order so as to replace a provision requiring Schwegmann to obtain prior Commission approval for certain transactions. The prior approval provision has been replaced with one that now requires prior notice to the Commission. The provision at issue applies to any acquisitions of retail grocery stores in the New Orleans metro area that Schwegmann makes through June 6, 2005. (See March 8, 1995 news release for more details regarding the 1995 consent order; Docket No. C-3584; Commission vote to modify the order was 5-0.) Staff contact is Roberta Baruch, 202-326-2861.

Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period on each, the Commission has made final consent agreements with the following entities. The Commission action makes the consent orders binding on the respondents.

  • The consent order with Comtrad Industries, Inc., of Midlothian, Virginia, settles charges that the firm made false and unsubstantiated safety and effectiveness claims for the "Koolatron," a portable electronic food cooler that doubles as a food warmer. The consent order prohibits Comtrad from misrepresenting the ability of any food storage product to cool food items or maintain proper cold storage temperatures, to heat or warm food items, and to hold its cooling capacity after being unplugged, as well as misrepre sentations about the effect of operating such a product off a car battery when the car is not running. Also, claims about the safety or efficacy of food storage products must be substantiated, and claims regarding the effectiveness or usefulness of Koolatron or any substantially similar product must be accompanied by a disclosure about the potential food safety risks. (See Dec. 9, 1996 news release for more details regardint this case; Docket No. C-3719; Commission vote on Feb. 25 to issue the order as final was 5-0.) Staff contact is Phoebe Morse, Boston Regional Office, 617-424-5960.
  • The consent order with Premier Products, Inc., T.V. Products, Inc., and T.V.P. Corporation, all of Florham Park, New Jersey, as well as company officers Michael Sander and Issie Kroll, settles charges that they made false and unsubstantiated safety and effectiveness claims for the "Miracle Thaw" Teflon-coated aluminum tray, which purportedly thaws frozen food quickly and safely. The consent order prohibits the respondents from misrepresenting how long it takes any food storage or preparation product to defrost, thaw or prepare food items, the process by which it does so, and the existence or results of any study or research. The order also bars the respondents from misrepresenting the risk of bacteria buildup on foods when consumers use such a product, and requires them to have substantiation for claims about the safety or efficacy of food storage or preparation products, and to include a disclosure about the potential risk of harmful bacteria buildup when making claims about the effectiveness or usefulness of Miracle Thaw or substantially similar products. (See Dec. 9, 1996 news release for more details regarding this case; Docket No. C-3720; Commission vote on Feb. 26 to issue the order as final was 5-0.) Staff contact is Phoebe Morse, Boston Regional Office, 617-424- 5960.
  • The consent orders with Natural Innovations, Inc. and William S. Gandee, both of Akron, Ohio, and World Media T.V., Inc., of Carlsbad, California, settle charges over their roles in the "Say No to Pain" infomercial for "The Stimulator," a purported pain relief device. The FTC alleged that the infomercial included unsubstantiated pain-relief claims. The consent orders require the respondents to have scientific substantiation to support pain relief and health or medical benefits claims they make for The Stimulator or any other device. The orders also require them to have substantiation to support the claim that any endorsement or testimonial they use represents the typical experience of users, or to accompany such a claim with a prominent disclaimer. (See Dec. 5, 1996 news relese for more details regarding this case; Docket Nos. C-3717 (World Media) and C-3718 (Natural Innovations/Gandee); Commission votes on Feb. 25 to accept the orders as final and binding was 5-0.) Staff contact is Lesley Anne Fair, 202-326-3081.

Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s web site at www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Public Reference Brandch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.

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