Cortisol Claims Stopped by FTC (cont.)

FDA Warning Letter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has taken regulatory action against the marketers of CortiSlim. On August 19, 2004, the FDA sent a warning letter to Stephen Cheng and Window Rock Enterprises, Inc., stating that the dietary supplement CortiSlim is misbranded and violates the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act). According to the FDA's letter, CortiSlim's label and accompanying information make unsubstantiated claims that CortiSlim "eliminates cravings," "controls appetite," "burn[s] calories more efficiently and naturally through thermogenesis," and "diminishe[s] hunger and stress eating." The FDA also asserts that claims that CortiSlim "supports healthy cortisol levels" or "supports weight maintenance efforts" would be unsubstantiated. FDA further expressed to the firm that if prompt action to correct these violations was not taken, enforcement action may be initiated without further notice. The Act provides for seizure of illegal products and for an injunction against the manufacturer and/or distributor of illegal products. For additional information and a copy of the warning letter, please visit the FDA's Web site,

"We will take appropriate enforcement action against firms that promote dietary supplement products with unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of the product," said Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Acting FDA Commissioner. "Consumers rely on the claimed benefits of the product, and we owe it to them that such claims be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence."

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 5-0. The complaint and the stipulated interim agreement and order were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on September 30, 2004.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

Copies of the complaint, the stipulated interim agreement and order, and a sample warning letter are available from the FTC's Web site at and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Source: Federal Trade Commission press release, October 5, 2004

Last Editorial Review: 10/6/2004