Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Washington consumers looking to lose weight or wrinkles have jumped at “free trial” offers for açaí berry and resveratrol products. But the fruity supplements came with unexpected costs.

acaiAçaí (pronounced  ah-sigh-ee or ah-sah-ee) is a berry from a South American palm tree. Resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, among other foods, is an element of red wine. Weight loss supplements, vitamins and colon cleansers associated with these ingredients are widely marketed online via pop-up ads and ads on social networking sites.

The attorneys general of several states including Washington are working to correct the abuses in the açaí berry offers seen on the Internet.

Our Consumer Protection Division has received more than 100 consumer complaints since October 2008 concerning such products. Most are from consumers who responded to free trial offers then were surprised when their credit cards were charged for additional shipments or for other products they didn’t know they had bought.

Last week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and talk show host Oprah Winfrey announced lawsuits against promoters of such products. Read today's consumer alert to learn more. If you believe you were the victim of an unfair or deceptive marketing practice, file a consumer complaint with our office.

Wikipedia photo: Açaí berries


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