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Garvey Named in FTC False Advertising Suit

September 06, 2000|From Associated Press

The Federal Trade Commission is suing former baseball player Steve Garvey for acting as host of a diet-drug advertisement that federal regulators contend was deceptive.

The suit, filed last month, builds on an April suit that alleged Enforma Natural Products Inc. and two of its principals, Andrew Grey and Fred Zinos, made "false and unsubstantiated" claims about "The Enforma System." The company claimed in television and Internet ads that users could lose weight without dieting or exercise, regardless of how much they ate.

Garvey's management company, Garvey Management Group Inc., also was named in the August suit along with the infomercial producer and executives of the production company.

Garvey wasn't immediately available for comment on the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Garvey, who spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was the host on an Enforma infomercial and appeared on the company's Web site. In a statement listed in the complaint, Garvey said, "Look at all these delicious supposedly forbidden foods: barbecued chicken and ribs, buttered biscuits. Foods you can eat when you crave them without guilt, without worry, and it's all because of a few little capsules."

The Enforma System consists of two diet supplements. One prevents absorption of dietary fat, and the other increases the body's capacity to burn fat, the company says.

Enforma Natural Products already settled the FTC suit against it with an agreement to return $10 million to customers. Another Enforma infomercial host, Lark Kendall--identified in the ad as Kendall Carson, nutritionist--also agreed to a settlement, surrendering her talent fee and accepting an order not to "misrepresent her professional status" or repeat claims she made about Enforma.

The FTC said Enforma System purchasers seeking refunds can complete forms from the FTC's Web site, http://www.ftc.gov, or call (202) 326-3123.

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