NuvoCare Under Investigation For Weight Loss Claims. The Could Face Various Sanctions, Including Penalties.
Following legal action by the Competition Bureau, NuvoCare Health Sciences Inc. and its President and CEO Ryan Foley have agreed to enter into a temporary consent agreement that prohibits them from making unsubstantiated weight loss and fat burning claims in the marketing of certain natural health products, including ‘WeightOFF Max!’ and ‘Forskolin Nx’.
NuvoCare’s potentially problematic claims were made despite a warning the Bureau issued in February 2019 calling on all sellers and marketers of natural health products in Canada to review their advertising and ensure that weight loss claims are not false, misleading or unsubstantiated.
The agreement will prevent potential harm to consumers while the Bureau completes its ongoing investigation into whether NuvoCare’s marketing claims are based on adequate and proper testing.
“We will continue to take swift action against businesses that try to take advantage of Canadians by making unsubstantiated claims about health and medical products. Once the consent agreement comes into force, it will protect consumers from potential harm while we complete our ongoing investigation.” -Matthew Boswell Commissioner of Competition
The Bureau took action in March 2020, asking the Competition Tribunal to issue a Temporary Order prohibiting NuvoCare and Mr. Foley from making performance claims that are not based on adequate and proper testing. The parties agreed to enter into an agreement on the eve of the hearing before the Tribunal. The agreement contains substantially all the terms sought in the Bureau’s application for a Temporary Order.
If the Bureau concludes that the weight loss claims are unsubstantiated, false or misleading, it may file an application under the Competition Act before the Competition Tribunal. Those found by the Tribunal to be making false or misleading representations or engaging in deceptive marketing practices may be subject to various sanctions, including financial penalties.
The Bureau will continue to investigate and take action against deceptive marketing practices in the traditional and online marketplaces. The Bureau strongly encourages consumers who believe they have been misled to file a complaint.
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