Court Finds Marketers Lacked Reliable Scientific Evidence to Back up Claims
A U.S. district court judge has ruled that COORGA Nutraceuticals Corporation and its principal Garfield Coore violated the law by claiming their “Grey Defence” dietary supplements reversed or prevented gray hair. The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint challenging the claims as unfounded in May 2015.
Based on this ruling, the court has issued a judgment prohibiting COORGA and Coore from making gray hair-reversal or prevention claims and other health claims, unless they are not misleading and are supported by reliable scientific evidence. The court also ordered the defendants to pay $391,335, which may be used to provide refunds to defrauded consumers.
“If a company says a product can get rid of gray hair or have some other miraculous result, they need the science to support that,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We’re pleased that the court agreed with the Commission that strong product claims require strong evidence backing them up.”
The court granted the FTC’s motion for summary judgment last month. It held that no reliable scientific evidence supports COORGA’s advertising claims that Grey Defence supplements prevent or reverse gray hair, and claims that the products are scientifically proven to do so are false.
The court also found that a customer survey the defendants conducted was not well-designed or scientifically controlled. Finally, the court found that Coore oversaw and directed every aspect of COORGA’s business and either knew, or was recklessly indifferent about, the misrepresentations and false claims made for Grey Defence.
The FTC filed its case against COORGA and Coore in in the U.S. Court for the District of Wyoming. The FTC previously reached settlements with two marketers of similar supplements, GetAwayGrey, LLC and Rise-N-Shine, LLC, both of which are now barred from making gray hair elimination claims unless they are not misleading and are supported by reliable scientific evidence.
The FTC acknowledges the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus for its referral of the COORGA Nutraceuticals case.
For information about how to avoid advertising fraud for these types of products, consumers can read Dietary Supplements: Health Information for Older People and A Healthy Dose of Skepticism.
NOTE: Final judgments and orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection