Sprinkle some “magic” crystals on you food and magically lose weight? Sounds like a scam, yet thousands of consumers have bought Sensa, a weight-loss system that claims overweight consumers can lose 30 pounds or more simply by sprinkling its special weight-loss crystals on their food, all without dieting or exercise. Now a federal class action lawsuit is challenging these claims, alleging Sensa Products and Dr. Alan R. Hirsch are selling snake oil.
The Sensa class action lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco, claims Dr. Hirsch and his company trick consumers into buying Sensa crystals by using marketing claims not backed by scientific proof.
According to its sales pitch, consumers simply have to sprinkle Sensa onto their meals and snacks to lose weight. The Sensa sprinkles, or “Tastants,” are supposedly clinically proven to help speed up the process that triggers your body’s “I feel full” signal so that you eat less and feel more satisfied. People who use Sensa, the website says, can lose 30 pounds or more, without changing their diet or exercising. These claims, Sensa says, are supposedly backed by one of the “largest clinical studies ever conducted on a non-prescription weight-loss product.” The Sensa class action lawsuit, however, says these claims are false, misleading and unsubstantiated without any competent scientific evidence to support them.
According to the Sensa lawsuit, Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., who appears in promotional materials for Sensa, may be a board-certified neurologist, but he is a also a “particularly sophisticated hustler, one with a medical degree and a thick stack of junk science to support the claim his magic crystals are ‘clinically proven.’”
Dr. Hirsch has been able to get by with this, the class action lawsuit charges, only because over-the-counter weight-control products have not been regulated as drugs since 1994, when Congress largely removed supplements from FDA regulation.
The Sensa class action lawsuit claims Sensa is a scam, and that Dr. Hirsch and his company have violated various California laws, including those dealing with false advertising and unfair business practices.
UPDATE 2: Sensa class action settlement checks were mailed to consumers on Feb. 19, 2014. Congratulations to our Top Class Actions readers who submitted a valid claim and got PAID!
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