Children’s Multivitamin Settlement Reached
By Matt O’Donnell
Several major marketers responsible for marketing children’s vitamins have been prohibited from making deceptive health claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children and have been ordered to pay $2.1 million to refund purchasers of Disney and Marvel Heroes vitamins.
The Federal Trade Commission sued NBTY, Inc. and two subsidiaries, NatureSmart LLC and Rexall Sundown, Inc., for making deceptive claims about the amount of DHA – an Omega-3 fatty acid – used in their line of Disney and Marvel Heroes children’s multivitamin gummies and tablets. The companies also made unsupported claims that a daily serving of the products promotes healthy brain and eye development in children, according to the FTC complaint.
The companies have agreed to pay $2.1 million to provide refunds to consumers who purchased certain multivitamins in their Disney and Marvel Heroes line of children’s vitamins. These vitamins, which depict characters such as the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo and Spider-Man, are sold by major retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer and Rite Aid, as well as online.
Product packaging and print ads promoting the vitamins had bold graphics highlighting that the products contained DHA, but in reality the products only had trace amounts of DHA, according to the FTC. For example, the vitamins’ packaging touted the purported health benefits of 100 milligrams of DHA, but a daily serving of the Disney and Marvel multivitamins for children ages 4 years and older contained only one thousandth of that amount (0.1 mg or 100 mcg).
The children’s multivitamin settlement bars NBTY, NatureSmart and Rexall Sundown from misrepresenting the amount of any ingredient contained in any product; and bars them from misrepresenting that any ingredient, including DHA, promotes brain or eye health unless the claim is true and backed by reliable scientific evidence.
The children’s vitamin settlement will also include a refund program established by the FTC to distribute the $2.1 million to purchasers of the Disney and Marvel multivitamins. The agency will reach out to affected consumers in the coming months. Keep checking back here at TopClassActions.com or sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive information about how to file a claim for the vitamin settlement as soon as the information becomes available.
Updated March 3rd 2010
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