FYI: Products in Recent News Being Held Accountable for Making False Claims or Statements

These are products we may have consumed at one point, or another, or that we may still consume. Beware that this is probably only the calm before the storm of many, many of these products seriously being held accountable for making false claims or statements. Always try to be a detective when purchasing foods at the grocery store, and in as much as possible, always make your own meals, squeeze your own juice, and make your own ice cream… and don’t trust your vitamins to some drink.

  • P&G claimed Align was “clinically proven to naturally defend against 5 signs of digestive imbalance.” But a lawsuit against it states: Procter & Gamble’s advertising claims that Align has a “Money Back Guarantee” [which] is likely to deceitfully induce a placebo effect on consumers, irrespective of any actual probiotic effect. There are no proper clinical studies that provide substantiation, clinical or otherwise, for Align’s digestive health claims.
  • POM's Pomegrenate Juice: The FTC wants to see some proof that the pomegranate ingredients in POM's Wonderful Products can actually treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, which is what the company says in marketing and packaging materials. POM Wonderful is suing the FTC in a kamikaze action claiming it has a free speech right to make health claims without FDA approval.
  • Coca-Cola (KO) is currently defending a suit that claims Vitaminwater does not prevent eye disease, as it advertising has suggested. In a separate suit, a federal judge ruled that Vitaminwater will not, as its labels promise, keep you "healthy as a horse." Nor will it bring about a "healthy state of physical or mental being". Instead, Vitaminwater is really just a sugary snack food; non-carbonated fruit coke disguised as a sports drink. Because it's composed mostly of sugar and not vitamin-laden water, judge John Gleeson held that Vitaminwater's absurd marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers. Coke tried to explain away claims like "vitamins + water = all you need" as "only puffery." The judge disagreed. Vitaminwater is not healthy; Federal Judge rules.
  • The judge in the Snapple suit — which claims its “natural” slogan is a crock because the drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup — has asked the FDA to determine whether HFCS is natural or not.
  • Nestle was forced by the FTC to get FDA approval for any further claims it makes about its “probiotic” Boost drink for kids. (Interestingly, Align is also a “probiotic” product.)
  • and Ben and Jerry's: The Center for Science and the Public Interest said that Ben & Jerry’s has agreed to phase out its use of “All Natural” claims on labels on some of its products. Some of Ben and Jerry's ice creams and frozen yogurts contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, or other ingredients that aren’t natural, according to the CPSI. They simply where claiming they were "all natural" because all those ingredients are "natural" by the FDA's definition. Right.

As always, friends... Caveat emptor.