Peter O’Brien, SensaSlim director and rumoured buddy of Peter Foster seems unable to break the back of his attention seeking behaviour.
Firstly however, the good news is that the initial defamation case brought by SensaSlim for $800,000 against Ken Harvey was dismissed on Monday. Harvey was awarded costs but with a mere $280,000 in the SensaSlim kitty, he is unlikely to see any returns. There is quite a queue for payments from SensaSlim who misled investors on return potential. It turned out to be zero.
Five days ago we had a SensaSlim saga update which included reference to the press release-masquerading-as-news-until-you-read-the-disclaimer, of O’Brien’s intent to sue Ken Harvey for $1 million dollars. Like all the other articles O’Brien authored on international.to it is now a mere 404 page – and I’ll get onto that. There’s a section in the above post along with most of the disclaimer. It was a kind of desperate sales pitch, personal attack on Harvey and attempt to defend SensaSlim as a genuine product because TGA regulations are geared to prevent harm, not provide efficacy.
He’s right on the last point and the very fact this nonsense continues is a black mark against the “self certification” process of the TGA. This was raised during the recent transparency review of the TGA which you can read and catch up on here. With luck O’Brien has done Aussies a favour by exploiting this appalling hole in our supposed regulatory body for therapeutic goods. Frozen assets, links to crime figures, non existent research from non existent institutes, false claims about a dud product, duped investors, defamed obesity experts, fraud, [all earning ACCC charges of misleading and deceptive conduct under Trade Practices Act 1974], defamation cases dismissed, contempt of court (I’ll get to that also) and the product still remains listed with the TGA.
O’Brien need only insist that the ingredients have been proven and used in weight loss products (and he is), point to the TGA listing (and he is) and feign unfair criticism thus defamation on Dr. Harvey’s part (and he is) to keep making money from a useless product that was a scam from day one. The Australian reported on Tuesday that he is seeking $1.75 million in damages and costs. Check The Australian Skeptics for information on donations to help Ken Harvey or head on over directly to the designated PayPal account.
A TGA representative confirmed the SensaSlim listing as it has “no unsafe products”, and in a typical bureaucratic promise of a glacially paced plan, proffered;
However, the TGA is considering a number of matters regarding the listing of Sensaslim Solution on the Australian Register of Therapeutic goods.
Nonsense. Until the suit against Dr. Harvey (which is another S.L.A.P.P.) is finalised the Complaints Resolution Panel can do nothing. O’Brien continues to profit with the TGA’s blessing. On this point there is a brand new Get Up campaign launched by the founder of The Celestial Teapot skeptic group. Calling on state and federal governments to provide consumer protection from quacks and health scams. It’s a compelling argument and thankfully includes calling to account that Victorian government bastion of all things scam-worthy and useless The Better Health Channel – which tax payers fund. Other states have similar insults.
Back to O’Brien. Yesterday it emerged that the ACCC was launching contempt of court proceedings against Peter O’Brien. It was postulated he has sent more of those ridiculous and at times thuggish “newsletters” he and Adam Troy Adams favoured to franchisees, this time warning that cooperating with the ACCC might be financially costly. Yes you read that correctly. Cooperating with the ACCC to get back money SensaSlim scammed from them might be costly. However we now know the ACCC has been granted an injunction stopping this latest rather ambitious attempt to still scam his already hurting victims. O’Briens cavalry seem to have gotten lost.
Some welcome clarification emerged also. I’ve written a couple of times about some correspondence with an editor from international.to, which is owned by RogersDIGITAL marketing. I’d complained about the content of articles written by Peter O’Brien and glowing comments published beneath. They were eventually deleted, and correspondence ceased which as I said was fine by me. It was their call to resume any exchange. I’d argued elsewhere on the deletions, “…I doubt due to my objections, but rather their own integrity given the balance of developments”.
So a refreshing development came to pass. The “Greg” singing off emails is Greg Rogers from RogersDIGITAL, who was responsible for the impossible to miss disclaimer under O’Brien’s last piece. Not only was O’Brien none to happy with this piece of honesty, but had long been advising Rogers to delete email correspondence. Fairfax write;
Simon White, SC, for the commission, said Greg Rogers, of the online news and classified websites business Rogers Digital, had contacted the commission, concerned at emails from Mr O’Brien telling him he should delete every email after reading it, and warning of the confidential nature of business relations.
”If at any time in the future [he was questioned] you can honestly say every email was erased,” one email said.
Another said he should ”never admit you are paid for a story”.
If Mr Rogers agreed that he would delete all correspondence with himself, SensaSlim and another director, Adam Adams, we can ”move forward and do a lot of business”, Mr O’Brien wrote.
He said if Mr Rogers was interviewed by the ACCC voluntarily then ”you are doing so in violation of confidentiality, both real and implied”. ”I ask you immediately erase all communication.” [….]
“Greg, I have been reading very hostile comments on sites supporting Ken Harvey,” Mr O’Brien wrote. He queried a disclaimer on the story headlined ”Sensaslim director files million dollar law suit against Dr Ken Harvey” [sic] on a Rogers Digital website.
Oh my. All in all things aren’t presently looking up for Peter O’Brien. Although according to one report he has been listed as a creditor by SensaSlim administrators.
One awaits further developments.