New York-based Supplement Seller Barred from False and Unsupported Health Claims
Telomerase Activation Sciences, CEO claimed two products could treat or prevent a range of age-related conditions
A company and its CEO who allegedly advertised and sold two “anti-aging” products using false or unsubstantiated claims have agreed to stop making the claims under a Federal Trade Commission settlement order. The FTC charged Telomerase Activation Sciences, Inc. and Noel Patton (collectively, TA Sciences) with lacking the scientific evidence to support claims that their capsules, powders, and creams could provide a broad range of anti-aging and other health benefits.
According to the FTC’s administrative complaint, TA Sciences falsely advertised the efficacy and health benefits of two products, TA-65MD, which comes in capsule and powder forms, and TA-65 for Skin (TA-65 Skin), a topical cream.
Specifically, the FTC charged that TA Sciences falsely advertised that both TA-65MD and TA-65 Skin reverse aging and that TA-65MD prevents and repairs DNA damage, restores aging immune systems, increases bone density, reverses the effects of aging skin and eyes, and prevents or reduces the risk of cancer. TA Sciences also allegedly misrepresented that TA-65 Skin decreases the time needed for skin to recover after medical procedures.
In addition to falsely claiming that some of these supposed results were supported by scientific evidence, TA Sciences allegedly misrepresented that a 2012 segment it paid for on The Suzanne Show was independent, educational programing instead of advertising for TA-65MD. Also, the FTC charged that TA Sciences deceptively represented that consumers in its ads were independent users, expressing impartial opinions of the product. In fact, they received free bottles of TA-65MD, worth up to $4,000, in exchange for their endorsement.
Finally, the complaint states that TA Sciences gave promotional materials containing false or unsubstantiated claims for the two products to other supplement marketers, providing them with the means to engage in deceptive acts or practices.
The proposed order settling the FTC’s charges prohibits TA Sciences from making any representation about the health benefits, performance, efficacy, safety, or side effects of any covered product, including TA-65MD and TA-65 Skin, unless the representation is not misleading and is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. It also prohibits TA Sciences from misrepresenting that any covered product is clinically proven to reverse human aging, prevent or repair DNA damage, restore aging immune systems, or increase bone density, or misrepresenting that such evidence or studies exists.
The order further prohibits TA Sciences from misrepresenting that any paid commercial advertising is independent programing, as well as failing to disclose any material connection between a product endorser and the company. It also bars TA Sciences from misrepresenting that any endorser is an independent user of the product.
Finally, the order prohibits TA Sciences from helping anyone else make false or misleading health and efficacy claims and requires TA Sciences to notify its licensees of the order, monitor the ads of its highest-selling licensees to ensure compliance, and terminate any licensee who continues to make prohibited claims. Within 30 days, TA Sciences also must notify consumers who bought TA-65MD or TA-65 Skin directly from the company within the past year or through an active continuity program about the FTC order.
The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint and to accept the proposed consent agreement was 2-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through March 23, 2018, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Interested parties can submit comments electronically by following the instructions in the “Invitation to Comment” part of the “Supplementary Information” section.
NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $41,484.
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).