FTC Modifies Cease and Desist Order against
Manufacturer of Hair-Removal Device

FTC News Release
November 22, 1991

The Federal Trade Commission, responding to a petition from the Removatron International Corporation, has modified a 1988 order requiring the company to cease making certain claims about its electronic, radio frequency energy (RFE) hair-removal device.

In November 1988, the FTC ruled that Removatron did not possess a reasonable basis to substantiate its claims that the device would remove hair permanently or on a long-term basis. The Commission issued an order that prohibits the company from making any claim about permanent or long-term hair removal unless it possesses "competent and reliable scientific evidence" to substantiate the claim and further prohibits Removatron from "misrepresenting the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test or study" regarding the RFE device. The order also requires that, for a period of five years, the company disclose whenever making a hair-removal claim that "[t]here is no reliable evidence that Removatron provides anything more than temporary hair removal."

Removatron submitted a request to the FTC last July to reopen and modify the order, based on new scientific evidence which, the company argued, supported its product claims, and made the affirmative disclosure provision unnecessary and inaccurate.

The FTC found that the new evidence is sufficient to warrant deletion of the affirmative disclosure provision. The Commission declined, however, to hold that the evidence is sufficient to support a claim by Removatron that the device provides permanent hair removal. The company is still prohibited from making unsubstantiated hair-removal claims.

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This page was posted on August 27, 2006.

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