FTC returns $3M to customers who bought bogus cactus juice

Federal authorities say they are sending $3 million in checks to consumers who bought a cactus-based fruit drink from TriVita Inc. based on bogus health claims.

The Federal Trade Commission settled charges against Trivita in July alleging that the company’s informercials and advertisements deceived customers about the benefits of its drink, Nopalea. The agency said it is mailing 500,000 checks to consumers. The check amounts vary per customer based on how much they spent on the company’s product.

Trivita sold its beverage — derived from nopal cactus — in 32-ounce bottles for up to $40 plus shipping and handling. The Arizona-based company promoted the drink as relieving pain, reducing inflammation and improving breathing.

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