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Eye On Boise

Bursting the Airborne bubble

How said. The makers of “Airborne” dietary supplements have agreed to change the way they market their products, as a result of a settlement with Idaho, 31 other states and the District of Columbia, according to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. The sad part: This was a product that promised to address a common societal problem, the way we can all pick up germs when we’re in the enclosed environment of an airplane during cold and flu season. I used it a few times at the recommendation of a friend; I have no idea if it did anything, but it felt good to at least try something. “Airborne was developed by a school teacher who was sick of catching colds in class,” the package said. It also directed, “Take at the first sign of a cold symptom or before entering crowded environments. 100% Guaranteed Satisfaction.”

Among the things Airborne has agreed to no longer claim: That the product can “mitigate, prevent, treat or cure colds, coughs, the flu, an upper respiratory infection or allergies.” The product, mainly made up of vitamins, also can’t be promoted as something to “take at the first sign of a cold symptom.” Said Wasden, “We took action to address unsubstantiated and misleading claims that Airborne could prevent the common cold or provide relief from cold symptoms.” The idea that a dietary supplement could do all that is clearly a popular one; Wasden’s office said Airborne has become the top-selling product in the cold and cough aisles of major retailers. 

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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