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Sensa customers to gain money back in settlement with U.S.

WASHINGTON — Makers of a weight loss additive called Sensa will return more than $26 million to consumers to settle federal charges that the company used deceptive advertising claiming that consumers could lose weight by simply sprinkling the powder on their food.

Sensa Products LLC promoted the powder through major retailers like Costco and GNC and with infomercials on the Home Shopping Network and other television networks. The company sold a one-month supply of Sensa for $59 and urged consumers to “sprinkle, eat and lose weight.”

But Federal Trade Commission officials said Tuesday the company used bogus clinical studies and paid endorsements to rack up more than $364 million in sales between 2008 and 2012.

The government’s settlement with California-based Sensa is part of a broader crackdown on four companies peddling weight-loss products including food additives, skin creams and dietary supplements.

“The chances of being successful just by sprinkling something on your food, rubbing cream on your thighs or using a supplement are slim to none — the science just isn’t there,” said Jessica Rich, director of FTC’s consumer protection office.

The FTC will also collect $7.3 million from LeanSpa, a company that promotes acai berry and “colon cleanse” weight-loss supplements through fake news websites. Also swept up in Tuesday’s action are skin cream maker L’Occitane and HCG Diet Direct, which sells unproven hormones for weight loss. The companies will together return about $34 million to consumers to settle the federal charges.

Rich told reporters that the weight-loss products targeted by FTC both waste consumers’ money and prevent them from seeking out legitimate treatments.

Regulators acknowledged that they were only able to collect a fraction of what the public paid for the products in recent years. In the case of Sensa, FTC officials said much of the revenue was quickly spent on advertising, including infomercials.

“It’s not uncommon for us to see that much of the money that has come in from consumers has been spent and is not available for refund,” said Mary Engle, an associate director in FTC’s division of advertising practices.

The total judgment against Sensa was actually $46.5 million, but $20 million was suspended because of the company’s inability to pay, according to the FTC.

Under the terms of the FTC order, Sensa CEO Adam Goldenberg and Sensa creator Dr. Alan Hirsch are barred from making weight-loss claims for any future products unless they are supported by two rigorous clinical trials. According to the FTC complaint, Hirsch conducted two misleading studies and wrote a book used to sell Sensa. The company claimed that the powder enhanced the smell and taste of food, leading users to feel fuller and eat less.

FTC also said that Sensa failed to disclose that some customers who appeared in company ads were paid $1,000 to $5,000 and received complementary trips to Los Angeles.

The company said in a statement it has agreed to remove the claims cited by the FTC from its advertising.

“The settlement involves no admission of wrongful conduct by the company and does not challenge the product’s safety,” Sensa said, adding that it will continue marketing its products with new advertisements.

Online and in-store beauty product seller L’Occitane claimed its Almond Beautiful skin cream could help users “trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks.” The international company charged more than $44 for each bottle of the cream. Under the FTC settlement, L’Occitane will repay $450,000 to customers and is prohibited from making such claims in the future without proper clinical studies.

Arizona-based HCG Diet Direct marketed liquid drops of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, which is produced by the human placenta. The hormone has been falsely promoted as a weight loss aid for decades, despite no evidence supporting that use. The government’s $3.2 million judgment against the company was suspended because of HCG’s inability to pay.


  1. I purchased and used the Sensa product as directed in 2013. Can I apply for a refund since it did not help me lose any weight? How do I get a request form for damages or refund of my purchase price regarding this restitution from Sensa Products? Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank You!!

  2. I just purchased sensa and sensa quench about two weeks ago. How do I get my money back?

  3. I did not receive a notice about the lawsuit and Iam filing a appeal on the lawsuit because I was not notifed about the lawsuit. So I was unable to file a claim because I was not notifed.

  4. I received a check today for $55.41. I am a little skeptical if I should cash it. Any thoughts? Has anyone received a check, today is 12/15/14 check dated 12/8/14.

  5. I want my money back!!! I tried sensa and it didn’t work!! I tried for two yrs. 50.00 for a two month supply. That’s a lot of money!!! They kept telling me i needed to try other products with it. Please i just want my money back.

  6. I never got any notice about a lawsuit. I have 7 boxes of the product!! I couldn’t get them to stop sending the monthly shipment. I also had a real problem getting the to stop charging my card for the charges.

    Is there any recourse? Is anyone monitoring this website?

  7. I love sensa…I lost 60 lbs in 2 years without diet or excersise. I tried everything out there with their FALSE avertisements! Sensa was my miracle! So I am willing to buy your sensa if it’s the advanced I will take it off your hands. I have kept my weight off for 2 years without diet or exersise. Whenever I would gain a few lbs. I would sprinkle for a couple days…and wala! Weight came off in 2 days! If anyone out there doesn’t have any sensa advanced they would like to sell please contact me at If you don’t have any for sell but know where I can buy it please forward that information to me. Thanks