Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced this morning that he's charging a Fredericksburg company called Nature's Candy with violating the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. (Woe to the person who violates the "cosmetic" part of the first act. Grandma with the eyeshadow, we're looking at you.)
The company, Abbott says, sold bars in health-food stores and "improperly claim[ed] the products could treat such ailments as Alzheimer's and depression."
Ripping off Alzheimer's patients -- you're not setting the bar too high, Nature's Candy.
"Under state and federal law, only federally approved drugs can be marketed as a treatment or cure for an illness," Abbott said.
The candy bars were sold as Omega-3 Uplift and Omega-3 Low-Carb Alternative Uplift. (Because when you're selling snake-oil, be sure to include the "low-carb" option.
Said the AG's office:
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Specifically, Nature's Candy claimed that the nuts and seeds in its Omega-3 bars contain folic acid, vitamin B-12, and the nutrient, "Tryptophan," which purportedly stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain. The defendants claimed that those ingredients would cure or prevent depression. Additionally, although folic acid is not a proven Alzheimer's disease cure, the defendants nonetheless claimed that their products would help prevent the disease.
What? Crazy food claims in a health-food store? What's next?
Abbott said he's seeking financial restitution for consumers, as well as civil penalties of $20,000 per violation of the DTPA and $25,000 per day for each violation of the FDCA.
-- Richard Connelly