The company pays over $ 400,000 to reimburse customers


photoPhoto (c) Aleksandr Zubkov – Getty Images A company that sells fish oil supplements and a laboratory that promoted these products have drawn the wrath of the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly making false and misleading claims.

Regulators say BASF SE and DIEM Labs violated FTC law by using misleading marketing practices to sell Hepaxa and Hepaxa PD supplements. In materials manufactured by DIEM and approved by BASF, the companies said the products are “clinically proven” to reduce liver fat in adults and children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. They also claimed that consumers would see health improvements within six months of taking the products.

In fact, the FTC said studies of the supplements showed that they did no better than a placebo.

“BASF and DIEM could not make serious claims about how Hepaxa capsules would help adults and children with liver disease,” said Daniel Kaufman, acting director of the FTC for the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies can’t choose dates and need to research beforehand about the science behind or not behind their products.”

BASF and DIEM are paying over $ 416,000 to the FTC as part of the settlement, and those funds will be distributed to all customers who have purchased either Hepaxa or Hepaxa PD. Companies are also prohibited from using misleading advertising and must provide adequate scientific evidence to support future health claims.

Consumers can learn more about the case by contacting the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau online or by calling 202-326-2125.

Christopher Maynard is a New York-based writer and editor who has worked as a security officer, high school teacher, theater lighting designer, and volunteer firefighter. He is a graduate of Marist College.

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