U professor charged with fraud

The Federal Trade Commission charged developer of Cortislim, Shawn Talbott, a part-time nutrition professor at the U, and two marketers for false advertising.

According to the FTC complaint, Los Angeles-area marketers Window Rock Enterprises, Inc. and Infinity Advertising, Inc., sold Cortislim through a number of widely aired infomercials and short TV commercials, as well as radio, print and Internet advertisements with false claims.

Gary Adams, who turned in an investigative report to the FTC about Cortislim, said the false claims included “weight loss of 10 to 50 pounds or more for virtually all users, long-term or permanent weight loss and the efficacy of Cortislim and all its ingredients is demonstrated by over 15 years of scientific research.”

The lawsuit also said the defendants used deceptive formats in at least two infomercials to suggest falsely that the infomercials were independent television programs, rather than paid commercial advertising, in a program called “Breakthroughs.”

Talbott appears on the program to explain a “scientific breakthrough” he made in cortisol research that led him to develop Cortislim.

Cortisol is the major natural hormone that predominantly affects the metabolism, which can affect the development of fat and protein in the body.

Talbott claimed that his product could interfere and stop weight gain caused by increased levels of the hormone due to stress.

Wayne Askew, department chairperson of nutrition at the U, said Cortislim was developed on Talbott’s own time.

“It was not done here,” Askew said.

Askew said he is unhappy with the lawsuit, but added that Talbott is a good teacher.

Talbott said the marketing company misrepresented the product he developed.

He said there is “no supplement that helps” dieting without a proper diet and exercise program.

In an agreement with the commission, the Window Rock defendants have taken false advertisements off the air.

Also, the defendants agreed to limit future advertising claims as well as not claiming scientific support when no such support exists.

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