If you’re wondering why you don’t see those “shake shake your Sensa” commercials anymore is because Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials cracked down on the company’s bogus weight loss claims and is forcing them to return $26 million to consumers.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the FTC crackdown put a stop to the Sensa sensation that has netted the California-based company more than $364 million in sales between 2008 and 2012.
Sensa Products LLC sells a one-month supply of Sensa for $59 and claims customers can simply, “sprinkle, eat, and lose weight.”
If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
According to the FTC complaint, Sensa creator Dr. Alan Hirsch conducted two misleading studies, then wrote a book which was used to sell Sensa, claiming the powder enhanced the smell and taste of food to make a person feel fuller.
It does nothing of the kind and, under the terms of the FTC order, Hirsch and Sensa CEO Adam Goldenberg will now be required to refund $26 million to consumers. The actual judgment was for $46.5 million but $20 million had to be suspended because of insufficient funds.
The company was also cited for not informing consumers that the people who appeared in their infomercials were paid between $1,000 and $5,000 to appear and were given free trips to Los Angeles.
Sensa was one of several companies hawking weight loss products that were cited by the FTC for scamming consumers.
LeanSpa, a company that promotes acai berry and “colon cleanse” weight loss supplements through phony news sites must now repay $7.3 million to consumers, the Mail reports.
Skin cream maker L’Occitane, which claims its Almond Beautiful skin cream can “trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks” and HCG Diet Direct, which sells unproven hormones for weight loss, will also be returning a total of $34 million to consumers to settle federal charges.
“The chances of being successful just by sprinkling something on your food, rubbing cream on your thighs, or using a supplement are slim to none – the science just isn’t there,” said Jessica Rich, director of FTC’s consumer protection office.
Under the terms of the order, creators of these products will be barred from making any weight loss claims for future products unless they are supported by authentic clinical trials.