Having just settled a six-year long lawsuit against Dave and Barb Pitcock, Youngevity appears to be targeting them again.
This time through Innov8tive Nutrition and parent company LaCore Enterprises.
Oh and apparently Innov8tive Nutrition’s patches don’t contain what’s advertised, classifying them as unapproved drugs.
LaCore Enterprises is owned by Terry LaCore (right) and runs a stable of MLM companies.
Innov8tive Nutrition is one such company, with the Pitcocks serving as executives.
Named defendants in Youngevity’s lawsuit include:
- Innov8tive Nutrition
- LaCore Enterprises LLC
- The Grace Firm
- LaCore Nutraceuticals Inc.
- The Grace Firm PC and
- LaCore Labs
Although they’re brought up in the lawsuit a lot, Dave and Barb Pitcock (right) are not named defendants.
At issue in Youngevity’s May 19th filed complaint are Innov8tive Nutrition’s “patch products”.
Specifically, the comparative marketing Innov8tive Nutrition uses to market its patches.
Innov8tive and Innov8tive promoters … use comparative advertising by claiming either explicitly or implicitly that their products use a mechanism for consumers to absorb vitamins and nutrients that is superior to Youngevity’s capsule, liquid, and powder based dietary supplements.
Youngevity alleges that Innov8tive Nutrition’s marketing claims, that it then draws comparisons against Youngevity with, are flat-out falsehoods.
Innov8tive’s advertising claims regarding absorption of dietary ingredients through the skin using topical patches are a primary component of its product advertising.
Innov8tive’s advertising claims identified above are false.
Innov8tive and Innov8tive promoters have used a multi-year false advertising campaign to sell product, falsely claiming that Innov8tive products contain certain vitamins and nutrients, and falsely representing that its patch products contain a unique or proprietary nanotechnology allowing consumers to efficiently ingest dietary ingredients transdermally.
However, as explained below, the Innov8tive patch products do not contain all (if any) of the claimed or labeled vitamins and nutrients, and those vitamins and nutrients are not absorbable through the skin, as claimed.
Youngevity claims Innov8tive Nutrition’s conduct is injuring it and causing damages.
Youngevity and Innov8tive are … direct competitors because the Pitcocks, as former high-level Youngevity distributors and current Innov8tive promoters, executives, and/or owners, market Innov8tive products directly to Youngevity distributors and customers.
Through those marketing and promotional efforts, Innov8tive attempts to take customers directly from Youngevity.
Youngevity has lost distributors and customers to Innov8tive.
Citing nutritional labels from a number of Innov8tive Nutrition’s products, Youngevity bases its allegations independent testing.
Youngevity retained an accredited laboratory to independently test the Innov8tive Complete Multi-Vitamin Patch to determine whether it contains the amount of minerals claimed by Innov8tive on that product’s supplement facts panel.
The accredited laboratory’s test results prove that claims on the Innov8tive Complete Multi-Vitamin Patch’s Supplement Facts panel are literally false.
Youngevity don’t name the lab, but state they went on to hire S&N Labs to verify the first labs results.
At face value, the evidence collected is pretty damning.
As cited by Youngevity, here’s the nutrition label for Innov8tive Nutrition’s multivitamin patch:
Here’s what S&N Labs found;
That’s a whole lot of zeroes.
And the zeroes continue throughout the rest of Innov8tive Nutriton’s product line:
S&N Labs’ Report of Analysis shows that Innov8tive’s patch products failed to contain any of the tested vitamins, minerals, and dietary ingredients at the levels identified on the patch products’ supplement facts panels.
I can’t personally speak to accuracy of S&N Labs’ report but the Lab Director has signed off on the included exhibit.
If those figures are remotely accurate, then it appears Innov8tive Nutrition’s patches are just plastic squares.
I don’t even need to rely on Youngevity’s allegations to point out what this means for Innov8tive Nutrition. In BehindMLM’s published Innov8tive Nutrition review we specifically covered their marketing claims;
Innov8tive Nutrition claim their patches are made from “woven nanotechnology”. They state this allows them to put more active ingredient in their patches, as opposed to traditional “plastic patches”.
Those zeroes certainly don’t represent “more active ingredients”.
The Innov8tive patches weigh between 66 and 90 milligrams per patch.
Other than the Innov8tive Feel Gr8 Patch, the supplement facts panel for the Innov8tive patch products claim that such products contain between 1580 and 8704 milligrams of active ingredients per patch.
Typically I find myself only using the phrase “math is math” in reference to MLM Ponzi schemes.
8704 mg of ingredients on a 90 mg patch? Looks like I have a new application (no pun intended).
As to Innov8tive Nutrition’s claims regarding delivery of (non-existent) nutrients through the skin, Youngevity writes;
The micronutrients purportedly contained in the Defendants’ patch products do not surpass the physical barrier of the skin in amounts or quantities equal to those advertised by Defendants.
Due to a variety of factors, most compounds in Defendants’ products lack the physico-chemical characteristics necessary to permeate the skin in adequate quantities.
The Defendants’ claim that consumers are capable of receiving the labeled amounts of dietary ingredients by using the products as directed, i.e., by applying the patch to the upper body. That claim is false.
Having established that Innov8tive Nutrition’s patches don’t contain any ingredients, and the delivery method is nonsense, Youngevity brings it back around to the marketing techniques (emphasis mine).
In an 18:36 minute video filmed by Barb Pitcock and posted to Dave Pitcock’s Facebook page on March 5, 2020, Dave Pitcock discusses the
difficulties of ingesting dietary supplements in capsule form.
The video depicts other dietary supplements, including Youngevity products and Youngevity packaging, in capsule and powder forms.
Despite Defendants’ patch products not containing the amounts of dietary ingredients claimed on the Supplement Facts panels, and the human body’s inability to absorb those dietary ingredients in amounts claimed on the Defendants’ labels, Innov8tive, through its promoters, has repeatedly claimed in advertising that Innov8tive products are a more efficient way to provide the body with vitamins and nutrients than capsules, powders, and liquid dietary supplements, such as those sold by Youngevity.
Consumers would not purchase the Innov8tive products if they knew that, in truth, the patches cannot impart to the body the quantity of vitamins and nutrients claimed on the Defendants’ patch products’ labels transdermally.
The bulk of Youngevity’s complaint then lists example after example of Innov8tive Nutrition’s alleged deceptive marketing conduct.
On the social media platform TikTok, an Innov8tive promoter posted a video showing various dietary supplements in capsule form, including Youngevity’s Gluco-Gel product, and stating:
“This used to be my monthly supply of multi vitamins and Omega 3s [showing dietary supplements in capsule form, including Youngevity product] until I found this awesome product [showing Innov8tive Complete Multi Vitamin Patch] that’s literally patches that you put on your body.
They have everything that I used to take and more in them and now I can get rid of all of this [showing dietary supplements in capsule form, including Youngevity product.].”
The Defendants’ comparative advertising is specifically intended to injure Youngevity because that advertising has been directed at Youngevity distributors and customers and claims superiority over Youngevity products.
The Pitcocks were formerly high-level Youngevity distributors for nearly four years.
Youngevity distributors therefore have access to and view the Pitcocks’ social media platforms (i.e., through contacts on Facebook.com that the Pitcocks formed when they were with Youngevity).
With knowledge of that fact, the Pitcocks use promotional videos claiming that the Defendants’ products are superior to traditional dietary supplements, like Youngevity’s products, and have used those false claims to induce Youngevity distributors and customers to leave Youngevity for Innov8tive.
Youngevity has suffered injury as a result of Defendants’ false and misleading claims because Youngevity distributors, potential distributors,
customers, and potential customers have joined Innov8tive instead of Youngevity, have left Youngevity for Innov8tive, and have purchased Innov8tive products instead of Youngevity products.
One particularly interesting aspect of Youngevity’s lawsuit is the recharacterization of Innov8tive Nutrition’s patches as “unapproved and misbranded drugs”.
Innov8tive and Innov8tive promoters unlawfully label and market their products as dietary supplements when, in fact, they are unapproved and misbranded drugs.
This is based on California’s and the FDA’s definition of a dietary supplement.
California regulates foods, drugs, and dietary supplements through the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law (“Sherman Law”).
Under California law, a “dietary supplement” must be intended for oral consumption and ingestion in the gastrointestinal tract in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form.
The regulatory definition of “dietary supplement” under the California Sherman Law mirrors the FDA’s definitional structure for dietary
supplements. The Federal FDCA uses nearly identical language to define “dietary supplement”.
Both the Sherman Law and the FDCA limit “dietary supplements” to those products that are “intended for ingestion” in the gastrointestinal tract.
A product therefore cannot be sold as a “dietary supplement” under California law unless it is intended for oral ingestion and absorption through the gastrointestinal tract.
A product that is intended to impart nutrients into the body through the skin via a transdermal patch is regulated as a “drug” or “medical device,” and is not a “dietary supplement.”
It is unlawful in the State of California to sell unapproved drugs that have not been shown safe and effective through premarket approval by the FDA or the Department of Public Health.
Defendants’ patch products are misbranded under the law because such products are improperly and unlawfully labeled and sold as Dietary
Supplements when, in fact, the products do not meet the statutory definition of a dietary supplement.
Misbranded dietary supplements and/or unapproved drugs are unlawful and cannot be sold legally.
There’s a few vitamin patch MLM companies around. If Youngevity’s claim holds up it could be disastrous for that particular MLM niche.
On California, Youngevity brings it up as that’s where they’ve filed their lawsuit. Youngevity’s corporate headquarters are in California. Innov8tive Nutrition and LaCore Enterprises are based out of Texas.
Youngevity’s fifty-seven page complaint details three counts at Innov8tive Nutrition and LaCore Enterprises;
- Laham Act false or misleading advertising;
- unfair competition – false advertising; and
- unfair competition – unlawful conduct.
Youngevity is seeking an injunction against Innov8tive Nutrition and LaCore Enterprises, as well an monetary damages.
This includes any and all profit derived from the sale of Innov8tive Nutrition’s patches, as well as a 300% penalty on any damages awarded.
I’ve added “Youngevity International Inc. v. Innov8tive Nutrition, Inc. et al” to BehindMLM’s case calendar. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to track the case.