Everyone harbors a dark secret – a forbidden mystery concealed behind closed doors. Three cases just filed by the FTC pull back the curtain on one of those taboos:
The efforts people make to hide the fact they’re going gray.
The marketers of three dietary supplements – Get Away Grey, Go Away Gray, and Grey Defence – all claimed their products could stop hair from turning gray. The purported active ingredient was an enzyme called catalase, which was supposed to neutralize the effects of hydrogen peroxide, the chemical that causes hair to gray. Consumers paid between $30 and $70 a bottle for the products, which were sold online and at national retailers like Walgreens and CVS.
Ads for Get Away Grey, sold by Charleston-based GetAwayGrey, LLC, claimed, “Watch your grey go away! Now, grey hair can be stopped and reversed . . . .” Rise-N-Shine, LLC, the New Jersey company that sold Go Away Gray, said its product “helps PREVENT & REVERSE Gray Hair.” COORGA Nutraceuticals Corporation claimed in its ads that a “detailed observational study” established that Grey Defence “reverses greying” in 65% of customers.
The FTC announced proposed settlements with GetAwayGrey and owner Robin Duner-Fenter, and Rise-N-Shine and owner Cathy Beggan. The orders in those cases require the defendants to support a wide variety of future claims with competent and reliable scientific evidence. The orders also impose suspended financial judgments that would come due if the defendants have misrepresented their financial condition.
Litigation against COORGA Nutraceuticals and corporate officer Garfield Coore is pending in federal court in Wyoming.
A note for practitioners who follow developments in industry self-regulation: The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus referred the COORGA Nutraceuticals matter to the FTC.