The Federal Trade Commission settled with Xacta 3000, Inc., and its owner over marketing of the company’s Kinoki “Detox” Foot Pads, which it claimed could remove toxins from the body through a user’s feet.
The defendants – who advertised that they had scientific proof about the power of the foot pads to remove chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins from the body as well as help with depression, fatigue, insomnia, diabetes, and headaches – are now banned from promoting or selling any dietary supplement, food, drug or medical device, and were ordered to pay $14.5 million.
The complaint, filed in New Jersey federal court in January 2009, alleged that the company used deceptive television and Internet ads in which it claimed that the “ancient Japanese secret to perfect health” was used to treat a multitude of medical conditions. A two-week supply of the foot pads cost $19.95, plus $9.95 for shipping and handling.
Under the terms of the stipulated final order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano, the defendants agreed to a judgment of $14.5 million, the total revenues from the sale of the foot pads. The judgment has been suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay, but it will become due if they are found to have misrepresented their financial status.
To read the order against Xacta, click here.
To read the FTC complaint, click here.
Why it matters: The settlement is another chapter in the FTC’s crackdown on the advertising and marketing of dietary supplements and other products making unsubstantiated health claims. Companies should ensure that their claims have adequate support.