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Goen Technologies Corp., et al.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed consent agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before February 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. Comments should refer to “Goen Technologies Corp., et al., File No. 042 3127,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room 135-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). 16 CFR 4.9(c) (2005).[1] The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments that do not contain any nonpublic information may instead be filed in electronic form as part of or as an attachment to email messages directed to the following e-mail box: consentagreement@ftc.gov.

The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, at www.ftc.gov. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Matthew Daynard (202/326-3291), Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and § 2.34 of the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for January 4, 2007), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2007/​01/​index.htm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222. Start Printed Page 1334

Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Goen Technologies Corp., Nutramerica Corp., TrimSpa, Inc., and Alexander Szynalski a/k/a Alexander Goen (together, “respondents”).

The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter involves the advertising and promotion of TrimSpa® Completely Ephedra Free Formula X32 (“TrimSpa X32”), a dietary supplement that, according to its label, contains, among other ingredients, Hoodia gordonii, chromium, vanadium, glucomannan, citrus naringine, glucosamine HCI, cocoa extract, and green tea extract. According to the FTC complaint, respondents represented that TrimSpa X32 causes rapid and substantial weight loss; and that Hoodia gordonii—an African appetite suppressant—in TrimSpa X32 enables users to lose substantial amounts of weight by suppressing their appetite. The complaint alleges that respondents failed to have substantiation for these claims. The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent respondents from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future.

Part I of the proposed order requires respondents to have competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating any claims that a covered product or service causes rapid and substantial weight loss or that the Hoodia gordonii, or any other appetite suppressant, in a covered product enables users to lose substantial amounts of weight by suppressing their appetite. The provision further requires that any such claim be true. A “covered product or service” is defined as “any dietary supplement, food, drug, or device, or any health-related service or program.” Part I.C. further requires that future claims about the health benefits, performance, efficacy, safety, or side effects of any covered product or service be truthful and supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

Part II of the proposed order provides that the order does not prohibit respondents from making representations for any drug that are permitted in labeling for the drug under any tentative final or final Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) standard or under any new drug application approved by the FDA; representations for any medical device that are permitted in labeling under any new medical device application approved by the FDA; and representations for any product that are specifically permitted in labeling for that product by regulations issued by the FDA under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.

Part III provides for the payment of $1,500,000 to the Commission.

Part IV of the proposed order requires respondents to provide the Commission with a list of all consumers who respondents know purchased TrimSpa X32 from March 1, 2003 through the date of entry of this Order.

Parts V through IX require respondents to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements; to provide copies of the order to certain of their personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure (for the corporate respondents) and changes in employment (for the individual respondent) that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part X provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years under certain circumstances.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any way their terms.

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By direction of the Commission, with Commissioner Rosch recused.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. E7-206 Filed 1-10-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P