Consumers Bring Action Against Basic Research

October 20, 2010

By Susan J. Matthees

Two consumers, a resident of Florida and a resident of New Jersey, have filed a putative class action against Basic Research LLC, Carter-Reed Company, LLC, Dennis Gay, Daniel Mowrey, and Mitchell Friedlander, alleging that Defendants made false and deceptive claims about Relacore and Relacore Extra, two dietary supplement products sold by Basic Research and Carter-Reed and marketed according to plans allegedly designed by Defendants Mowrey, Friedlander, and Gay.  Plaintiffs allege they are entitled to damages for Defendants’ alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, and under the theory of unjust enrichment. 

Relacore was advertised on television and the internet with the claims such as “Helps prevent stress-related abdominal fat,” “formulated to help:  reduce stress, reduce mild anxiety, improve mood, fight mid-day fatigue, [and] increase energy.”  Both plaintiffs claim that they purchased Relacore and used the product as directed to reduce abdominal fat, but ultimately stopped using the product because it did not work as labeled and advertised.  One plaintiff also purchased and used as directed Relacore Extra, which made similar claims to reduce stress-related abdominal fat, and found that the product did not work as advertised.  Plaintiffs allege that Defendants “knew or should have known” that the products “do not prevent or reduce stress-related abdominal fat, do not reduce stress and anxiety, and do not elevate mood and emergency” and that there was no scientific validation of the claims made for the products. 

In addition, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Basic Research, Gay, Mowrey, and Friedlander violated a Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Consent Order by marketing Relacore and Relacore Extra.  Defendants agreed to the FTC Consent Order in 2006 for claims made for a different weight loss product.  That Order prohibits them from making any claims about health or weight loss without “competent and reliable scientific evidence” to substantiate the claims. 

The case was filed in the southern district of Florida on October 11.