It turns out that eating a particular yogurt a day for two weeks won't solve intestinal problems after all, and drinking a particular dairy drink won't give you immunity from colds or the flu. Now The Dannon Company Inc. will pay Idaho $425,000 as part of a multi-state settlement over its "unsubstantiated and unlawful marketing claims," according to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who joined with the attorneys general of 38 other states in a $21 million settlement with the yogurt firm.
Under the settlement, Dannon doesn't admit any wrongdoing, but it promises not to claim that Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drinks "can prevent, treat, cure or mitigate disease," and the firm is required to "possess competent and reliable scientific evidence to support otherwise permissible claims about the health benefits, performance, efficacy or safety of its probiotic food products." Click below to read Wasden's full announcement of the settlement.
For Immediate Release
December 15, 2010
Dannon to pay Idaho $425,000 and change its marketing practices
(Boise) – The Dannon Company, Inc. will pay Idaho $425,000 to settle allegations that it made unsubstantiated and unlawful marketing claims concerning Activia yogurts and DanActive dairy drinks, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today. Wasden joined with the attorneys general of 38 other states in a $21 million settlement with Dannon.
The attorneys general alleged that Dannon made unlawful claims in advertising, marketing, packaging, and selling Activia yogurts and DanActive dairy drinks, including claims that were not substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence at the time the claims were made.
Dannon represented that Activia helped to regulate one’s digestive system based largely on the presence of a bacterial strain with purported probiotic benefits. The attorneys general alleged that Dannon represented that Activia improved intestinal transit time when consumed one serving per day for two weeks. However, the majority of studies demonstrated a benefit only for individuals who consumed three servings per day for two weeks. The attorneys general also alleged that Dannon made other unsubstantiated and unlawful claims about Activia’s benefits.
Dannon represented that DanActive provided consumers with “immunity” and cold and flu prevention benefits. The attorneys general alleged that those claims are unlawful and that Dannon lacked adequate substantiation to support those claims. Dannon’s advertising and marketing emphasized that DanActive contains a probiotic bacterial strain.
Under terms of the settlement, Dannon may not represent that the covered products can prevent, treat, cure or mitigate disease. Additionally, Dannon must possess competent and reliable scientific evidence to support otherwise permissible claims about the health benefits, performance, efficacy or safety of its probiotic food products.
Attorney General Wasden’s settlement with Dannon has been submitted for approval by the Fourth District Court in Ada County. The company did not admit any wrongdoing.
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