Herman Taller, MD, of New York, author of the best-selling book Calories Don't Count, was indicted March 11 by a federal grand jury primarily on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy, and violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. Three other individuals and two corporations were also indicted on the charges resulting from the promotion and sale of safflower oil capsules which were mentioned in the book. Safflower capsules were recommended in the weightreducing scheme presented by Taller.
Taller, who practices medicine in Manhattan, and the other defendants could be each sentenced to 239 years in prison and fined $85,000 if convicted on all 49 counts in the indictment.
Taller's book, which sold more than a million copies, claimed that certain unsaturated fats, such as safflower oil, help the body consume other fats. He recommended a diet for obese persons consisting principally of unsaturated fats and told readers where to