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FRS Healthy Energy
FRS Healthy Energy (formerly New Sun Nutrition, Inc.) is a line of products sold by the FRS Company and distributed by PepsiCo. The FRS energy brand of products contain a patented formula of quercetin (QU995), green tea extract and essential vitamins. The company claims that its formula boosts energy, enhances fitness, and supports immunity, but FRS complaints from critics and consumers say there is no valid scientific evidence to defend quercetin benefits. As well, a number of FRS complaints stem from the company's billing practices. Attorneys are currently investigating FRS quercetin false advertising claims and billing practices.
FRS consumers have complained that FRS Healthy Energy is a scam; that its products, including Ready-to-Drink Cans, Concentrate, Powder and Chews, do not actually cause any real "boost" in energy, fitness or immunity, and it is nothing more than citrus flavored snake oil—or at the most, water, flavoring and vitamins.
FRS Energy Scam
Quercetin is a type of plant-based chemical, or phytochemical, known as a flavonoid. Good sources of quercetin include apples, grapes, onions, teas, red wines, and many other foods. Quercetin is also available as a dietary supplement.
FRS Quercetin Benefits
Because quercetin is sold as a dietary supplement in the US, the FRS Company is not required to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that its supplements are safe or effective, as long as it doesn't claim the supplements can prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. On its website, however, FRS claims that "science" proves that it boosts energy, enhances fitness, and supports immunity.
But the scientific studies posted on the company's website are, for the most part, merely experiments done with a very small number of participants that do not actually scientifically prove the claims made by the company about the product. In one study, "The Dietary Flavonoid Quercetin Increases VO2max and Endurance", a sample of twelve volunteers was used; in another eleven cyclists were studied. And many of the studies appear to have been done by people with a financial connection to the company or to the producers of Quercetin, even though those financial connections are not disclosed in the scientific papers.
Lance Armstrong has endorsed FRS Healthy Energy, and he is the primary spokesperson for the product, featured prominently in the company's advertising. He also is a member of the company's board of directors. Other athletes also appear on the company's website and in its advertising, including Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.
FRS Healthy Energy Endorsements and False Advertising
On December 1, 2009 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implemented its new "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising," to continue protecting consumers from false and misleading advertisements. The old guidelines allowed a celebrity—such as Lance Armstrong—to make an endorsement and an average consumer to make a testimonial. Now, the FTC defines an endorsement as "any advertising message that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, findings or experiences of a party other than the sponsoring advertiser, even if the views expressed are identical to those of the sponsoring advertiser."
In effect, this means that if Lance Armstrong talks about this supplement on TV, he has to explain that he's a paid endorser. The disclaimer can be in the end credits, or the endorser can mention in conversation that he is endorsing the product. The FTC states:
"Endorsements must reflect endorser's general views and must not contain any express/implied representation that would be misleading if made by the advertiser. Advertisers can be liable for misrepresentations and for failure to disclose material connections, as can endorsers." Regarding disclosure of material connections, The FTC now states that:
In September 2010, a federal judge denied Coca-Cola's motion to dismiss a lawsuit over what the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says are deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on the company's "Vitaminwater" line of soft drinks. Coca-Cola claimed that Vitaminwater reduces the risk of chronic disease, reduces the risk of eye disease, promotes healthy joints and supports optimal immune function, and uses health buzz words such as "defense," "rescue," "energy" and "endurance" on labels.
Related: Coca-Cola Vitaminwater Lawsuit
Like FRS, Coca-Cola paid basketball stars, including Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, to appear in ads saying its products are a healthy way for consumers to hydrate.
Judge John Gleeson found the word "healthy" violates FDA regulations on vitamin-fortified foods. The judge also found the names of the drinks, along with other statements on the label, "have the potential to reinforce a consumer's mistaken belief that the product is comprised of only vitamins and water." Coca-cola countered by saying that that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage," and therefore arguing that advertising it as such isn't false advertising. The suit is ongoing
Many FRS consumers have complained to online sites about the company's billing practices. FRS frequently has offered "free trials," but then charged customers' credit cards for later, expensive shipments, and refused to provide refunds even if the customers returned the product.
FRS Billing Practices
From one disgruntled FRS customer on complaintsboard.com :
(It gets worse )
Could it be this is a scam...Why hasn't the government looked into this?"
FRS Energy Scam Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered damages in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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