OTTAWA, June 28, 2005 -- The Competition Bureau has filed an application for an order with the Competition Tribunal to prevent five Quebec companies and their president, which operate Centre de Santé Minceur, a chain of weight loss clinics, from making misleading representations to the public about a weight-loss method involving a special apparatus and natural products.
Sylvain Leblanc and the following companies: Gestion Finance Tamalia, Gestion Lebski, La Société de Financement Vanoit, Maigrissimo and 9083-8434 Québec, marketed Cellotherm, a weight loss device, and weight loss products Cure de départ, Nocto Slim and Nopasim, allegedly in violation of the Competition Act.
According to the deceptive marketing practices provisions of the Act, it is prohibited to make representations that are false or misleading, as well as statements about the performance or efficacy of products that are not based on adequate and proper tests.
The Quebec companies made the following claims about their products:Cellotherm induces weight loss in specific areas, produces the effects of liposuction without surgery and helps dissolve fat;Cure de départ enables people to lose up to nine pounds in seven days; Nocto Slim burns off fat during the night; and Nopasim reduces excess fat in specific areas.
"These representations may lead people to believe that there are easy solutions to losing weight," says Raymond Pierce, Deputy Commissioner. "The Act states that representations such as these must be backed up by credible studies, failing which appropriate action will be taken."
The Bureau is asking the Tribunal to order Mr. Leblanc and the companies to:
cease making certain representations about the weight-loss method;publish a corrective notice in newspapers and magazines, on Quebec Infomercials and on their Web site;pay an administrative monetary penalty.
The respondents have 30 days to file a response with the Tribunal.
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that promotes and maintains fair competition so that Canadians can benefit from competitive prices, product choice and quality service. It oversees the enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marketing Act.
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