December 16, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. - A Florida-based company that made unsubstantiated and unlawful claims in marketing dietary supplements will cease the practice and pay the state of Missouri $150,000 under a consent judgment obtained today by the Attorney General's Office. Missouri was part of a $7 million nationwide settlement with Airborne Health, Inc. of Bonita Springs, Fla.,that involved 32 states and the District of Columbia.
Airborne-Original is the top selling dietary supplement in its category and is sold at many major retailers. It consists of Vitamin A, E, zinc, selenium and large doses of Vitamin C. Today's settlement covers all Airborne products in addition to Airborne-Original, including any new products the defendants produce in the future.
The settlement resolves the state Attorneys Generals' allegations that the defendants made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering and selling of their line of dietary supplements that were not substantiated by reliable and competent scientific evidence at the time the claims were made. The states alleged that Airborne explicitly and implicitly claimed to sell a cold prevention remedy, a sore throat remedy, a germ fighter, and an allergy remedy without adequate substantiation to prove that the products could perform as advertised at the times the claims were made.
Other allegations included that the defendants failed to adequately warn consumers about potential health risks to select populations, including pregnant women, under old formulations of Airborne that contained 5,000 International Units of Vitamin A per dose. Currently, the level of Vitamin A in Airborne is 2,000 International Units.
Under today's settlement filed in Cole County Circuit Court, Airborne agrees not to make any express or implied claim concerning the health benefit, performance, efficacy or safety of their dietary supplement products unless at the time the claim is made competent and reliable scientific evidence exists to substantiate each claim. Specifically, Airborne is prohibited from stating "take at the first sign of a cold symptom," and other claims that imply that Airborne can diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat, or cure colds, coughs, the flu, and upper respiratory infection or allergies.