The head of a Cheyenne-based company that markets dietary supplements claiming to prevent or reverse gray hair asserts the Federal Trade Commission is telling some bald-faced lies.
"The Plaintiff (FTC) has alleged misconduct by the Defendants," COORGA Nutraceuticals' executive vice president Garfield Coore wrote in his answer filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
"However, the Plaintiff has provided no evidence to support its allegation, a burden that rest solely on its shoulders," wrote Coore, who is representing himself.
Coore wants the court to dismiss the demand for the injunction, and order the FTC to pay its costs for defending itself, award damages for loss of reputation and issue two press releases stating its Grey Defence products s are legal.
He and COORGA claim “Grey Defence" “‘contains a blend of vitamins and minerals, as well as catalase, an enzyme used by cells to rapidly catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into less-reactive gaseous oxygen and water molecules,’” according to the FTC's citation.
COORGA’s website cites the “summarized findings and statistical analysis” of a study it did by selecting 100 customers who used it for five months. Twenty of those 100 customers responded. Thirteen of those indicated they saw grey hair reversal.
The FTC said that this wasn't adequate substantiation.
But Coore responded that COORGA's actions are consistent with the FTC's own advertising guidelines which state in part, "There is no fixed formula for the number or type of studies required or for more specific parameters like sample size and study duration."
The FTC, Coore added, also states the Federal Trade Commission Act forbids false and misleading statements, and the government has the burden to prove statements are false.
The FTC also did not initiate its legal action as a result of a consumer complaint, but rather from a referral from the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, he wrote.
The NAD didn't like COORGA's refusal to publish its methodologies for its studies that would have resulted in disclosing trade secrets, Coore wrote. "Contrast this hypothetical possibility of injury put forward by the FTC, against the real injury to consumer that will be denied the benefits of using Grey Defence dietary supplement, a lawful product, that some have relied on for years."
Coore also castigated the FTC for lumping his company in a press release with two other companies that made similar unsubstantiated claims about gray hair reversal products.
The press release smeared his good name, he wrote. "It is inappropriate to group the Defendants so as to engender guilt by association via the grouping, especially under an active case in front of the Court. By this action the Plaintiff has injured and continues to injure both the reputation and business of the Defendants."