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Coca-Cola to revise claim that its tea burns calories

It and Nestle will pay $650,000 in a settlement with 27 states. The companies agreed to re-label Enviga to add disclosures and disclaim weight-loss benefits.

February 27, 2009|Bloomberg News

Coca-Cola Co. and joint-venture partner Nestle agreed to pay $650,000 in a settlement with 27 states over claims that Enviga green tea burns calories, resulting in weight loss.

Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal began an inquiry in 2007 seeking evidence that consumers who drink Enviga burn more calories than they take in. Blumenthal, who had said the claim might be "voodoo nutrition," led the coalition of states and the District of Columbia in the settlement.

The companies agreed to re-label Enviga to add disclosures and disclaim weight-loss benefits, Blumenthal said Thursday. Any marketing of Enviga or a similar beverage that uses the terms "the calorie burner," "negative calories" or "drink negative" must clearly disclose that the product doesn't lead to weight loss without diet and exercise, he said.

"The Enviga lesson is that weight loss requires sound diet and exercise, not simply a concoction of caffeine and green tea," Blumenthal said. "Enviga's calorie-burning claims led to credibility loss more than weight loss."

Ray Crockett, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, said studies show that caffeine combined with a green-tea antioxidant, EGCG, can increase calorie burning. Coca-Cola introduced Enviga in the U.S. in November 2006.

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