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Cold Fighting Claims

quinn.anya / flickr

Airborne Health, Inc., the Bonita Springs, Florida maker of the popular Airborne Effervescent Health Formula, an effervescent tablet marketed as a cold prevention and treatment remedy, has agreed to pay up to $30 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it did not have adequate evidence to support its advertising claims.

The FTC’s lawsuit also names Victoria Knight-McDowell, the former schoolteacher who invented Airborne, and her husband Thomas John McDowell. If the settlement is approved by the court, it will prohibit the defendants from making false and unsubstantiated cold prevention, germ-fighting, and efficacy claims. The monetary judgment will be satisfied by the defendants’ adding $6.5 million to the funds they have already agreed to pay to settle a related private class-action lawsuit, bringing the total settlement fund to $30 million.

So many of these products take an idea, one or two studies on the general concept not the product and make a claim. That claim can then later be attacked by the FDA and then pulled, such as what has happened here, and then a lawsuit follows.

This also happened with many of the “Cortisol Blockers.”  The companies don’t care. They are creating a product that will sell, attaching a claim that isn’t grounded in research, and then sell a ton of product. The lawsuits that follow and the payout that is then rendered is only a fraction of their profits.

As a consumer, you have to be smart and you have to be selective. You must open your eyes and realize that most of these companies want to sell their product and care more about getting the money in your wallet than how their product may actually affect your health.

Your best bet: Always reach for a whole food first, choose your supplements wisely, and keep your eyes wide open when evaluating the clams.  Do you know what the RDA for Vitamin C is for adults? 60mg, not 1,000 mg. Eat a green pepper. It has 380% of the Vitamin C you need.

About The Author

Amanda Carlson-Phillips – Amanda Carlson-Phillips is the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. As a registered dietitian, she has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.

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Tags: Health