Green coffee bean extract is touted for weight loss, but the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health says the few clinical studies about it were poorly designed.

Norcross firm to settle suit accusing it of misleading customers

A Norcross company that once tangled with television personality Dr. Oz in a dispute over its dietary supplements now says it will settle a federal class action lawsuit accusing it of misleading consumers.

Private Label Nutraceuticals sold products labeled as green coffee extract and carrying an image of a trim waist with a tape measure around it. But a lawsuit by a day spa owner in California alleged that, rather than promote weight loss, the products actually contained a sugar compound.

In a court filing this week, Private Label Nutraceuticals said it has agreed to modify product labels to include a statement that makes clear that use of the products alone won’t result in weight loss. The statement will say that exercise and restricting calories are required to obtain the desired results.

The company will also reimburse people who bought the products in question, though it continues to deny any liability for alleged misrepresentation and says it has agreed to settle only to avoid the expense and uncertainty of further litigation.

Green coffee beans have a chemical, chlorogenic acid, that some believe can boost metabolism and lead to weight loss. In its filings this week, an attorney for the company cited a published study that concluded that green coffee extract can aid weight loss.

But in the class action lawsuit, spa owner Heather Schourup claimed that the products contain little to none of the supposedly effective chemical. Even so, the effectiveness of green coffee beans for weight loss is unclear. The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health says that, while the few clinical trials of green coffee bean extract found a possible modest effect on body weight, the trials were poorly designed.

Private Label Nutraceuticals will reimburse customers who purchased various Green Coffee Extract products. While the company sold some directly to customers, most were sold through distributors or retailers. These are advertised on Amazon.

Schourup’s suit against the company, which does business as MaritzMayer Laboratories, was filed in 2015.

Also that year, Dr. Oz tested samples of three Private Label Nutraceuticals products, including Green Coffee Bean Extract. He told his television audience that it didn’t contain enough of the active ingredient to be effective.

That criticism touched off a battle with the company, which said it formulated a Green Coffee Bean Extract product to match one Dr. Oz had promoted years earlier on his show.

A federal court judge in California is scheduled to hear the motion to approve the class action settlement on July 30.

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