You may have heard of using aloe vera for sunburn relief. A Florida company claimed its aloe products would relieve joint and muscle pain, diabetes, acid reflux and more — and that health studies confirmed its claims. Not so, says the FTC. Under an FTC settlement, the company will pay a financial judgment of $537,000 and must stop making health related claims that aren’t supported by the necessary scientific evidence.
According to the FTC, NatureCity LLC promoted its TrueAloe edible capsules and AloeCran drink mix, both containing processed aloe vera, through millions of mailers, on websites and on Amazon. NatureCity LLC ads mentioned human studies and “data” that confirmed the power of aloe vera to improve a range of serious health conditions, but the FTC says those claims weren’t backed by sound scientific evidence.
Many NatureCity LLC brochures included photos and stories from satisfied customers claiming they had experienced remarkable relief from pain and other ailments. Some said they didn’t need prescription medications any longer. The FTC says the brochures didn’t reveal that, behind the scenes, NatureCity LLC offered customers free products, or discounted products with free shipping, if their testimonials were used in advertising material.
Under the settlement, NatureCity LLC must send letters to its customers saying it was sued for deceptive advertising and that it gave some customers free products and shipping in exchange for positive reviews.
Before you try a health product, talk with your doctor. Your doctor can explain the risks of a product, if there are reputable studies to support the claims, and if the product will have an effect on your medicines or treatments. If you spot a health-related fraud, please tell the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint.
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