Dieters are always on the lookout for that magic elixir that will melt the pounds away – often gravitating towards beverages sold and marketed as “dieter’s teas” which promise to shed pounds and rid the body of toxins.
Increasing numbers of consumers are speaking out against these products – alleging that they are in fact dangerous and deceptively packaged and marketed.
In December, 2013, Jessica Augustine filed a proposed class action on behalf of herself and other purchasers of Laci Le Beau’s Super Dieter’s Tea, manufactured by Natrol Products Inc. (Augustine et al v. Natrol Products, Inc., Case No. 13-cv003129, S. D. CA.).
In a recent victory for the plaintiff, U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff has refused to toss a consumer class action accusing Natrol of misleadingly marketing its Laci Le Beau Super Dieter’s tea as a weight loss aid. Class Action Against Diet Tea Maker
Huff ruled that the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to support her claims – denying Natrol’s motion to dismiss Jessica Augustine’s suit.
According to Huff, Augustine adequately plead that the company’s labeling and advertising of its Laci Le Beau Super Dieter’s Tea could be deceptive.
“Accepting as true all of the allegations in the complaint, it is plausible that the statements on the product’s packaging could deceive a reasonable consumer,” Judge Huff wrote.
Natrol, which markets and distributes the product, argued in a motion to dismiss that wording on the product’s packaging would not likely to deceive a reasonable consumer. Lawsuit Over Tea Drink’s Marketing Moves Ahead
However, plaintiffs maintain the company falsely advertises the tea will assist weight loss by reducing excess body fats and accumulated toxins – when in fact, it does not contain any weight loss ingredients or fat burners.
According to reports, its main ingredient, Senna Leaves, can actually prevent weight loss and act as a laxative not safe for long-term use. Regular use of the product, encouraged by labeling and marketing materials, can cause dependence on laxatives, and excessive Senna use has been linked to hepatitis, liver failure and cancer.