FTC: Detox tea claims are hard to swallow

Looking to improve your health or lose a few pounds? Maybe detox teas promoted by celebrities on social media have caught your eye. Before you pay up and down a cup, listen to what the FTC has to say about one purveyor of such potions.

In a settlement announced today, the FTC alleges that Teami, LLC, and its owners, CEO Adi Halevy and Yogev Malul, made deceptive weight-loss and other health claims for its teas. Specifically, the FTC challenged Teami’s weight-loss claims for its “detox” tea, as well as Teami’s claims that three other teas could fight cancer, clear clogged arteries, relieve migraines, and prevent common colds and the flu. The FTC says the company did not have reliable scientific evidence to back up their claims — as required by law. What’s more, the company hired well-known Instagram influencers to promote the products, but allegedly failed to adequately disclose that it paid them — also required by law.

This is the FTC’s first case to challenge claims made in social media endorsements about the effectiveness of health-related products.

The FTC’s proposed order requires the defendants to have adequate substantiation for weight-loss and other health-related claims, requires that their endorsers tell people — clearly and conspicuously — when they’ve been paid, requires monitoring of endorsers, and includes a $15.21 million judgment, suspended upon payment of $1 million to the FTC.

What’s your take-away from this tale? The market is steeped with products for health and fitness. Learn how to decode ads for products that promise to treat everything from obesity and arthritis to diabetes and dementia. Visit ftc.gov/health for more information. And before you buy anything based on a review, check out a variety of sources, and watch this video.


If you see product claims that don’t go down right, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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