Ottawa pulls AbTronic from market

Canadian authorities have pulled two AbTronic devices from the market. The devices were sold on TV infomercials and over the Internet.

Thane Direct Canada, the company behind the devices, has agreed to refund consumers. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians paid $120 to $180 for the Abtronic and the Abtronic Pro.

Advertisements gave the false impression a person could lose weight and get well-defined abdominals just by strapping on the devices and not doing any exercises.

  • Call Thane at: 1 800 978 6329
  • Or, write: Thane Direct Canada 101 Canarctic Drive Toronto, ON M3J 3N1
  • The company had claimed 10-minutes of the AbTronic is the same as doing 600 sit-ups.

    Some promotional materials claimed it will "tone and tighten your upper abs, lower abs, and love handles with no sweat at all" and, "you can say good bye to strenuous, time-consuming workouts."

    The AbTronic is an Electric Muscle Stimulator (EMS). It's used by physiotherapists for muscle injuries. An EMS helps you regain your motor control but even then, you need to combine it with exercise. It cannot, however, create muscle tone.

    "Consumers are particularly vulnerable when it comes to unsubstantiated product performance claims, and more specifically when the claims relate to sensitive issues such as weight loss and physical appearance," said Raymond Pierce, Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau.

    Under the agreement, Thane will stop selling and marketing the Abtronic products and will not market any similar devices offering weight loss or muscle toning without exercise.

    The company has also agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty.