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U.S. slaps fines on 4 diet pill companies for false promises

Science doesn't support the advertising claims made by four weight-loss pill companies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Thursday after charging the companies' marketers millions of dollars in fines.

Science doesn't support the advertising claims made by four weight-loss pill companies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Thursday after fining the companies' marketers millions of dollars.

The FTC is allowing Xenadrine EFX, One A Day Weight Smart, Cortaslim and TrimSpa to remain on store shelves but ordered the companies to stop making misleading advertising claims.

FTC investigators said some of the companies touted their drugs saying their effects couldinclude decreasedrisks of osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and cancer.

Health Canada has not authorized any of the drugs for sale in Canada.

"The marketers are required to back up the claims with the science and if they can't do that they can't make the claim. But we don't ban the products from the shelves," said FTC commissioner Deborah Platt Majoras.

The marketers of Xenadrine EFX must pay at least $8 million US and as much as $12.8 million, Majoras said, while the marketers of Cortislim must pay $12 million.

Bayer Corp will pay a civil penalty of $3.2 million while Trim Spa has been fined $1.5 million.

Majoras said the FTC will direct some of the money back to the consumers.

"We always try to get money back when consumers have been deceived," she said.

"In this instance, I'm pleased to say that I believe we're going to get millions back from some of these products to be able to return it to consumers."

She also urged people trying to lose weight to evaluate products on the market with a critical eye.

"You're not going to find weight loss in a bottle of pills," she said.

With files from the Associated Press

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