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The Plot to Make Big Food Pay for the Rising Cost of Obesity

In an attempted takedown like that of the tobacco industry in the 90s, lawyers are asking state attorneys general to sue the food industry to make them pay for obesity-related health care costs.

lawsuit

Lawyer Paul McDonald, partner at Valorem Law Group in Chicago, is heading up the movement asking 16 states to take on Big Food.

“I believe that this is the most promising strategy to lighten the economic burden of obesity on states and taxpayers and to negotiate broader public health policy objectives,” he told POLITICO.

Mary Hartley, R.D. shared some of her concerns about litigation of this kind with us. “Lawyers who took on the tobacco companies are fishing for new money,” she said. “They want to take on the food companies, and they see the best route as through the attorneys general. Independent lawyers would do the legal work for the attorneys general in exchange for a cut of the settlement.”


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Pom Wonderful Loses Appeal Against Deceptive Marketing Charges

These days, things for Pom Wonderful are anything but. Last week, federal regulators upheld a ruling that states the popular juice company has engaged in deceptive and misleading marketing practices. The Federal Trade Commission’s decision is the culmination of a multi-year action against the California-based pomegranate juice maker.

In September, 2010, the FTC accused POM of making false and unsubstantiated claims for 36 of their products, saying they could “treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.” The commission said the company had a “lack of sufficiently reliable evidence” to back up those claims.

The number of POM products the FTC is citing was bumped up to 36 from the 19 instances found by FTC Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell in May 2012.
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Kirstie Alley Being Sued Over Claims of Losing Weight with Organic Liaison

Kirstie Alley drew much attention for her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” Season 12, during which she shed nearly 100 pounds. But the actress is now being sued for reportedly lying about how she lost the weight.

In 2008, Alley lost nearly 75 pounds with the Jenny Craig program. But shortly thereafter, the actress developed her own diet program called Organic Liaison, which she credits her most recent weight loss to.

Since then, Alley has been openly promoting and endorsing the program saying, “I can assure you that if you follow this program, you’ll get healthier, lose weight, and not be ‘annoyingly’ hungry.”

But California resident Marina Abramyan is calling the star out by filing a class action lawsuit against her saying she did not lose the 100 pounds with Organic Liaison, but instead by dancing on “Dancing with the Stars” and following a clean diet. Abramyan believes Organic Liaison used false advertising to promote the program, including deceptive photos of Alley’s ever-slimming figure.

Abramyan brings the suit after trying Organic Liaison herself and not losing any weight. According to the official lawsuit text, she believes the products “are nothing more than run-of-the-mill fiber and calcium supplements.”

“The claims against Ms. Alley and Organic Liason are patently false,” said the brand in a statement shared with DietsInReview.com today. “We will vigorously defend ourselves against these frivolous claims.”

According to Courthouse News Service, the official complaint states: “In peddling the Organic Liaison Program, Ms. Alley attributes her weight loss to the program, but in reality, Ms. Alley’s weight loss is due to nothing more than the tried and true concept of diet and exercise. It is commonly known, and indeed a scientific fact, that if you are increasing exercise while decreasing caloric intake, you will lose weight. There is no magic pill or supplement that causes weight loss.”

Organic Liaison is a multi-layer membership and supplement program that supports the weight loss efforts of both men and women. The program is meant to “escort you into the world of organic weight loss,” as Alley describes in the product’s promotional video, and includes its own line of USDA organic supplement products to help you lose and manage your weight. The diet supplements are meant to help cleanse and detox the body while controlling cravings, reducing appetite, and boosting the metabolism.

In light of the weight loss claims, the brand defended in their statement their very public promotion of Kirstie’s weight before she was even tapped to appear on DWTS.

“Ms. Alley began her weight loss on the Organic Liaison program in early 2010. Ms. Alley had lost about 70 pounds prior to her participation as a contestant on DWTS in the Spring of 2011. That loss of weight was documented in Ms. Alley’s numerous appearances during that time frame on talk shows, numerous magazine articles and on QVC. Subsequently, during the nearly 3 month period that Ms. Alley competed on DWTS, she lost approximately another 20 pounds.”

They further argue that “Ms. Alley did not reach the 100 pound weight loss milestone on the Organic Liaison program until months after her participation in DWTS had ended. As such, contrary to Abramyan’s assertion, it was not several hours a day of vigorous dancing related to DWTS that caused her weight loss; it was her studious adherence to the Organic Liaison Weight Loss Program that caused the loss; that Program contains and requires regular exercise for success.” Further, the statement notes that Alley followed Organic Liaison for a 1.5 year time period, which would have attributed to her 100 pound weight loss total, far beyond the brief months she spent on the dancing reality show.

While Alley hasn’t formally responded to the charges, she did post a Twitter update on July 23 saying “Lol…noise noise.. Lots of noise…One sure sign of success is noise…even Heroes have lice.” It seems she isn’t taking the lawsuit too seriously as of yet.

Also Read: 

Kirstey Alley Down 38 Inches Since Her Dancing Debut

A Look Inside Kirstie Alley’s Organic Liaison with CEO Peggy Crawford

Dancing with the Stars Brings Major Changes for Contestants

source: Huffington Post



Skechers Loses $40 Million Lawsuit Over Shape-Ups Shoes

The popular fitness shoe that’s become widely known as the “rocker” has landed one company in a seriously messy class-action lawsuit. Skechers USA Inc., will be forced to pay out $40 million over false advertising claims they made about a variety of their athletic shoes.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed charges against the company after it made unfounded claims about its Shape-ups shoes, saying they would help people lose weight and strengthen their leg and butt muscles.

But the commission says Skechers falsely presented the clinical studies that backed up their claims, stating defects and false reports of consumer weight loss.

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke helped make these controversial shoes more popular than ever. And Sketchers reported that despite the false advertising accusations, the company received overwhelming feedback from thousands of customers concerning the positive results they saw with the shoes.
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Nutella Forced to Pay Millions Over False Health Claims

Ferrero USA, Inc., maker of Nutella will pay out $3.5 million as part of a legal settlement. The makers of the hazelnut and chocolate spread will divide $2.5 million of the settlement among consumers who filed a claim. This settlement comes after a California mother sued the company for their erroneous health claims.

Athena Hohenberg, the mother who brought the claims, proposed a class-action suit against Ferrero after she fed Nutella to her 4-year-old believing it was healthy for her based off the information in the advertisements. The ads state that the chocolate spread is a part of a nutritious breakfast.

Hohenberg was surprised to learn that Nutella contains 21 grams of sugar, 200 calories, and 11 grams of fat (3.5 of which were saturated) in one serving.

Ferrero lost the suit and will pay up to $20 per household of those who file a claim stating they purchased a $4 jar of spread – fulfilling the payment up to five jars. In addition to the pay-out, Ferrero has agreed to change its marketing campaign and change the Nutella label to include the sugar and fat content on the front of the jar. New television ads will be created along with changes being made to the company website.
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